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PC & Mac Games • Multimedia • CD-ROM • Online 





What’s Up! 

4 Editor’s Page 
6 Letters 
10 Sharp Edge 

Multimedia News and Previews: Tour the 
interactive Vatican, experience VR on TV, go 
surfing in Manhattan's East Village, and butt 
heads with Mike Ditka. 


18 Leader Board 

The best-selling PC, Mac, and CD-ROM 
entertainment software. 

42 Is It a Movie, Or Is It a Game? 

By Bill Meyer 

22 Spotlight 

Multimedia Reviews: Two crankin' multi- 
media machines, 15 enhanced classical 
music discs, dozens of high-tech gardening 
tips, and more than 100 Marilyn pics. 

32 Edutainment 

An essential reading list for back-to-school 
multimedia, plus a first gander at some 
upcoming holiday titles for kids. 

36 The Player 

Developers hope full-motion video will make computer 
games as popular as television. Dedicated gamers just 
want good games, period. Can both sides find happi¬ 
ness together? 

Cyberspace: 1995 

By Donald St. John 

It's been a wild year online, and all the services are 
scrambling to add entertainment options just to keep up. 
f 2 fills you in on where the good times roll on the Big 
Three, Bill Gates' new Microsoft Network, and the other 
top contenders. 

Cheaters never prosper? Sure they do—in 
computer games. Christopher Lindquist 
cheerfully 'fesses up to digital corner-cutting. 

38 The Multimaniac 

The 'Maniac hits the road for fun in the sun. 
Christine Grech uses a CD-ROM travel planner 
to plot her path to the land of cactus and 
Charles Barkley. 

Guided Tour: Top Gun: Fire At Will 

By Steve Klett fllP 

There's always room for a hot pilot in Hondo's squadron, 
le question is, can you cut it? Our Guided Tour gives 
1 you the lowdown on how to fly high in Spectrum 
1 HoloByte's fast-action flight sim based on the hit movie. 

96 Finishing Moves 

Classic novels the online way, the fall TV line¬ 
up gets into games, and what was really on 
that chip in Johnny Mnemonic's head. 

58 Game News 

Dwango isn't a new dance; it's a 
fresh way to find online opponents. 
Plus News You Can Use. 

Game of the Month 

60 FX Fighter 

Adventure Games 

62 Fade To Black (Preview) 

64 Celtic Tales: Balor of the Evil Eye 

Fly & Drive 

66 F/A-18 Hornet 2.0 

67 A-10 Attack! 

Strategy Games 

68 First Encounters 

Simulation Games 

70 PowerHouse 

71 SimTower 

Sports Games 

72 Virtual Pool 

Game Shorts 

74 Modus Operandi, Marco Polo 

75 Zig Zag 

76 Dark Forces and Doom II for the 
Mac, Terminal Velocity 

77 Onslaught 

Tech Shop 

80 Plain TV? Play TV! 

Take that tiny game screen on your PC and blow it 
up BIG on your TV. We check out the ins and outs 
of four inexpensive PC-to-TV scan converters. 

CD Console 

PlayStation, Satum. 3D0. Sega CD, and CD-i 

82 Untangling the World Wide Web 

Enjoying graphics on the Internet may seem like 
magic, but the Web is really not that complicated. 
Electronic Entertainment explains the concepts behind 
the hottest part of the 'Net. 


Fredric Paul 

Editor’s Page 

Total Control 

^3^uick, you have to make a choice. Which do you really want: full-motion video, 
or full control over everything that happens in your favorite computer games and 
multimedia titles? 

Tough choice? Maybe. Maybe not. 

As assistant editor Bill Meyer makes clear in “Is It a Movie, Or Is It a Game? ” (page 
42), all the processing power of modem PCs, the sophisticated video-acceleration hard¬ 
ware and software, and the fancy compression algorithms simply aren’t enough to 
meld realistic video with the kind of complete interactivity available in animated games. 

With current—or even currently foreseeable—video technology, the best we can hope 
for is to switch among video clips at predefined points. And it’s prohibitively expen¬ 
sive and complicated to shoot, digitize, and array every possible action that could 
result from a given situation. 

Most of today’s audience for computer entertainment has made peace with this com¬ 
promise. But the general public—those not weaned on Nintendo and Sega, anyway— 
has been led by the mass media to expea some slick interactive-television experience 
that will let them make Jerry Seinfeld do whatever they dictate. When consumers see 
the current state of the art, many of them feel cheated. They aren’t interested in tiny, 
fuzzy video clips that basically play through by themselves. Who would be? And 
they’re not willing to trade the spittin’ image of Harrison Ford for some pixelated 
sprite or cartoonish animation, even if they can make Harry do their bidding. 

So what’ll it be: Damned if you do or damned if you don’t? Well, maybe we’re go¬ 
ing about this all wrong. Most of the new crop of movie-style games concentrate on 
integrating real video into the games. In the long run, though, it probably makes more 
sense to improve computer-animation techniques to the point where they begin to 
resemble reality. That way, committed gamers get the interaction they crave, while more 
casual fans can enjoy the TV-like production values they’ve come to expea. 

Some of this is already possible with relatively simple objects like airplanes and 
spaceships (see associate editor Steve Klett’s Guided Tour of Spectrum HoloByte’s 
new Top Gun: Fire at Will flight simulator on page 54). But the real test involves cre¬ 
ating realistic people, especially faces. Most of the attempts to make animated faces are 
embarrassingly unconvincing. But higher-powered computers, new software tools, 
and innovative techniques that texture-map bits of video faces onto 3-D heads are 
getting better and better. New graphics-acceleration hardware may even allow game 
developers to map real video of aaors’ faces onto fully interactive “puppets” that 
users would be able to control far beyond the limits of conventional video. 

Perfecting this process will finally solve the video/interactivity conundrum. Instead 
of choosing one or the other, you’ll get something that passes for both—animated, ful¬ 
ly controllable action that looks like real video. It may take a while, but only that 
accomplishment will mark the full maturity of computer entertainment. 

Tell me what you think! Send e-mail to; fax me at 415- 
349-7482; or send snail mail to Editor, Electronic Entertainment, 
951 Mariner’s Island Blvd., Suite 700, San Mateo, CA 94404. 

John F. Rousseau 

Christopher Lindquist 
Joy J. Ma 

Donald St John 


Anthony Lukban 
A BHIMeyer ,R 

Steve Klett 


Catherine D. Peddie 

Laura E Watt 


Joel Enos, Suzanne Frear Sue Kim, Adam Vanderhoof 


Paul Bonner, Barry Brenesal, James Daly, Keith Ferrell, 
Jane Greenstein, Gregg Keizer, Peter Olafson, 
Corey Sandler, Don Steinberg 


Kathy Sund 
Randy Randolph 
Christina Cheney 
Amy Nibbi 

Single-Copy Sales Kemco Services; (603) 924-0224 

TO SUBSCRIBE (800)770-E24U 

Trade Show/Events Manager Julie Marple 

Sales & Marketing Manager 

Assistant Content Editor 

Efec&WK&fertahmentOSSN 1074-1356), The No, 1 1 nb 

d at San Mateo, CA and at a 



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Clue Book 

PO Box 245, Ogdensburg, NY 13669 Tel: (315) 393-6633 Fax: (315) 393-1525 E-Mail: 76711.33@COMPUSERVE.COM 


By Far the Best 

I have been reading your magazine since its 
early beginnings. You guys have really done 
a great job of keeping readers aware of 
changes, advancements, and new technology 
within the computer industry. On top of 
that, you have kept us well informed about 
new software with your in-depth reviews. E^ 
has done a fine job of alerting consumers 
about the numerous new products so they 
can make an educated decision on what to 

E^ is by far the best and most informative 
multimedia magazine in the industry. People 
are starting to take notice. All I can say is 
keep up the good work. Thanks again. 

Timothy W. Puckett 
DeKalb, IL 

Nice Work 
If You Can Get It 

I have to say that I love your magazine and 
that I’ve subscribed since its first issue. I 
know that everyone who writes says that, 
but I mean it. 

I have one suggestion. I think you could use 
a section devoted to game cheats and hints. 

Also, I’d like to get some information 
about becoming a game tester for some of 
the larger game companies, such as id 
Software and LucasArts. I know that some 
testers don’t get paid, but I don’t really care. I 
just want to be involved in game testing. I’d 
really appreciate any help you can give me. 
Dyami Kuehn 
Mayville, Wl 

Keep an eye out for cheats and/or hints in 
just about every game review we publish. In 
addition, we post some hot cheats each 
month in our Game News section. 

As for becoming a tester, you should direct¬ 
ly contact the companies you’re interested in 
testing games for. Be warned that it’s not an 
easy position to obtain. Paid testing jobs are 
highly sought. Just getting on the testing list is 
tough, as many companies tightly control the 
early release of software to minimize piracy 
and industrial espionage. — Ed. 

bps B.S. 

Why doesn’t id Software make multiplayer 
versions of Doom or Doom II for 2,400-bps 
modems? I really hate the fact that most net¬ 
work games require 9,600-bps modems. Is 
there any way I can get around buying a 
faster modem and still play multiplayer 

Eric Beeson 
Bristol, TN 

Afraid not. More complex games need to 
send lots of data across the wire. Slower 
modems simply can’t move this data fast 
enough. 9,600 bps seems to be the minimum 
anyone wants to work with these days, and 
you can bet that 14.4- and 28.8-Kbps models 
will become the standard soon. If you really 
want to play games over a modem, you’d 
better consider upgrading to a V.32bis or 
V.34 modem. You can find such modems for 
as little as $100 if you shop around. —Ed. 

Earthsiege Expertise 

I purchased MetalTech: Earthsiege by Sierra 
On-Line in April. I am interested in becom¬ 
ing an Earthsiege expert. If there is informa¬ 
tion on hint books or strategies, please notify 
me. I already wrote to Sierra, but they direct¬ 
ed me to you. 

Ethan Gyles 
New Ipswich, NH 

Experts, eh? Well, practice makes perfect. 
But if you want even more insider info, give 
Infotainment World Books, a division ofEA’s 
parent company, a call at 800-360-2228 and 
ask them about their Official Players Guide 
to Earthsiege ($18.95). If you have access to 
an online service such as America Online, 
check out the PC gaming forums for more 
Earthsiege info. — Ed. 

Size Matters 

I recendy read the preview of Lost Eden in 
your May issue. The first tip in your tip box 
says, “If you have something in your inven¬ 
tory you don’t want, give it to Tug.” My 
friend and I noticed that his name is not 

Tug, it’s Thugg. 

Also, in future reviews can you give the 
average length of time it takes to complete 
each game. We finished Lost Eden in a cou¬ 
ple of hours the first day we got it. 

Ryan Stef 
Ventura, CA 

Sorry about the thypo, er, typo. We’ll try to 
do better. 

As for game length, our reviewers usually 
note games that are particularly short and 
easy—or long and difficult—in the text of 
the story, as John Sauer did in his preview of 
Lost Eden. Estimating hours of game play is 
a bit tricky, though, because a less-experi¬ 
enced gamer may take far longer to finish a 
game than an expert would. Besides, if you 
play a game as a team, you can expect game 
play to be shorter. — Ed. 

100 Percent Accurate 

I’d like to start by saying I love your maga¬ 
zine. Your software and hardware reviews 
are always 100 percent accurate. Continue 
the great work. 

I would like to know if LucasArts is mak¬ 
ing a second expansion disk for TIE Fighter. 
Second, are you going to print a review of 
Sierra’s Space Quest 6 soon? I’ve played the 
demo, and it looks interesting in a warped 
sort of way. Still, I would like to read a 
review before I buy it. Thanks! 

Robert Winkeler 
Bartelso, IL 

Thanks for the support. Watch for 
LucasArts’ TIE Fighter Collector’s CD- 
ROM in the fall, featuring a new campaign 
with 232 missions. Look for our review of 
Space Quest 6 in the October issue. —Ed. 

Got something you want to get off your chest? 
Do it! Write, fax, or e-mail us at: Letters to 
the Editor, do Electronic Entertainment, 
951 Mariner’s Island Blvd., Suite 700, San 
Mateo, CA 94404; fax: 415-349-7781; In¬ 
ternet address,; and 
CompuServe: 73361,265. \s. 



A Looking Glass 



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A t-\> $4*e for 4 ^-t) v 'or|4. 

VirVal ftoy" is a portable 32-bit 3-P game system, featuring phase linear array t< 

digital stereo scu-nd, two high—resolution visu-al displays, and 3-P raph 
immerse you- in the game. Coming soon—stereo headphones and Garnet 
cable for head-to-head action. 

Tu-rn it on and experience the 
difference a dimension can make 

Multimedia News 

City of Pope 

E ver wondered what the Pontiff sees 
when he strolls around his neighbor¬ 
hood? Jasmine Multimedia will give 
you a glimpse Inside the Vatican, 
scheduled to coincide with Pope John 
Paul IPs fall visit to the U.S. The two-disc 
set is based on the six-hour TV series of 
the same name and features rare footage 
of hundreds of paintings in the Vatican’s 

vast collection. 

Hosted by Sir Peter 
Ustinov, Inside the 
Vatican lets you tour 
the papal city and 
uncover the roots of 
the Roman Catholic 
Church by journeying 
back to Israel, Tur¬ 
key, and finally to 
Italy. There are “inter¬ 
views” with historic 
figures (played by actors) whose lives 
helped shape the Church’s development, 
along with re-enactments of key events 
from the time of Peter the Apostle to the 
present. Whether you’re pious or just 
curious, Inside the Vatican offers a rare 
look behind the scenes at St. Peter’s house 
of worship. (Jasmine Multimedia; 800- 
798-7535; $89.95) —Ann M. Marcus 

Platform: Win CD 
Available: Fall 

theSistine Chapel’s 

ties, inducting Herbie Hancock, Thomas Dolby, and 
Timothy Leary; and more than 45 minutes of video 

renzi has pioneered 
art of creating 
music from the 

> waves coming from distant galaxies. Invisible 
erse indudes a full hour of Terenzi’s haunting 
ic; poems by sdentists, astronauts, and celebri- Available: Fall 

id even the origin of 
the universe itself. 
You can also look 
at classical maps 
of the night sky that 
are linked to the lat¬ 
est photographs 
and scientific data 
from observatories 
around the world. 

If the notion of 
radio waves from 
outer space in¬ 
trigues you, tune in 
to Invisible Universe. 
(Voyager; 800-446- 
2001; $39.95) 

-Ann M. Marcus 




I t’s a lot easier to create virtual reality in a movie than in real life. But that doesn’t mean that 
Hollywood always gets it right. Let’s take a moment to reflect on some of the many miscon¬ 
ceptions of virtual reality in popular culture over the years. 



Star Trek: The Next r—-- — _L 

Natalie Wood, Christopher Walken 

Generation, 1989 ffSHaHW 

Natalie Wood’s last role, but virtual reality’s debut on the 


silver screen. A research scientist played by Christopher 

Tired of hearing “Make it so” A A 

Walken creates a headset-like “sensory experience device” 

from that patronizing Picard? 

that falls into the wrong hands. 

Take a break in the Holodeck. | 

The Lawnmower Man, 1992 

Th^ fantasy’s for you. 

Pierce Brosnan, John Fahey 

Amazing (Aerosmith J Jafl 

Happy village idiot Jobe Smith (Fahey) garners a bigger 

Music Video), 1993 j 

brain, develops a mean set of pectorals, and finally gets lucky. 


thanks to Dr. Lawrence Angelo’s (Brosnan) prescription of 

Just boot up the old computer 

drugs and computer-generated virtual reality. 

system, throw on your VR head- 

Demolition Man, 1993 

out every 16-year-old’s fantasy " ad About *oits Paul 

Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock 

of a big bike and the girl next „.' S ® r " ves out his Christie 

In futuristic “San Angeles,” folks have simulated sex via 

door. Just don’t spill your Coke ,a " ,aSy V '' a ’' irtua ' 

VR headsets—the real thing is too messy and taboo. Unfortu¬ 

on the keyboard. 

nately, Stallone’s and Bullock’s characters are nostalgic for the 

old ways. 

Mad About You, 1994 


Disclosure, 1994 

In the wacky world of marriage ’90s style, virtual reality 

Michael Douglas, Demi Moore 

spices up the Buchmans’ love life. He (Paul Reiser) gets Christie 

Sexual harassment and virtual reality go hand in hand as 

Brinkley and she (Helen Hunt) goes a round with Andre Agassi. 

seductress Meredith Johnson (Moore) turns Tom Sanders 

Unfortunately, for the fans who called in to locate the device, 

(Douglas) into her boy toy via VR. 

this virtual reality happens only on prime time. 

Johnny Mnemonic, 1995 

VR.5, 1995 

Keanu Reeves, Dina Meyer 


Reeves, who has more presence then acting acumen, 

Enjoy some cyber-voyeurism as hacker and VR aficionado 

enters virtual reality to connect with the Internet of tomor¬ 

Lori Singer uses her headset and woefully outdated 1200- 

row and download his head’s precious cargo. Oh, and to 

baud acoustic-coupler modem to surf the ’Net and drop in on 

save the world, too. (See Finishing Moves for a list of 

other users’ minds. Sounds great: Too bad it got canceled. 

cargo, page 100.) 

—Bill Meyer 

Kon-Tiki Sails Again 

ember Thor Heyerdahl? The fascinating explorer’s 
'I seafaring adventures will be available on CD-ROM 
I this fall in Kon-Tiki Interactive from Gyldendal, a 
Norwegian publishing company. 

Heyerdahl spent a lifetime trying to prove his theories 
on the population paths of the Pacific Ocean. He defied 
both nature and science to sail from Peru to Polynesia on a 
balsa raft, the Kon-Tiki. 

Kon-Tiki Interactive’s video of Heyerdahl's voyages 
to the high seas on a recreates the experience of sailing across the ocean on 
balsa raft. wooden rafts and reed ships, traveling ancient trade 

routes along the Tigris River, or taking part in excavations of rare Peruvian treasures 
at the pyramids at Tucume. (Gyldendal; phone: 47 22 034100; email: svein.; $49) -Ann M. Marcus 

Available: November 


Multimedia News 




0 ) 



■ Major League Baseball 

made its interactive TV debut 
on the struggling Interactive 
Network. Now the big leagues 
are trying again: They’ve part¬ 
nered with NTN Communi¬ 
cations to develop Dia- 
mondBall, which lets players 
predict the outcome of an at- 
bat, answer strategy questions, 
and predict the success of a 
particular batter. The system 
was scheduled to go live at the 
All-Star Game in July over 
NTN’s ITV network, which 

rants, and hotel lounges 
throughout the United States. 
NTN developed the service in 
collaboration with Hall of Fame 
pitcher Rollie Fingers; a new 

chain TGI Fridays Inc. for inter¬ 
active gaming may give NTN 

prominent magazines have joined 
the online gold rush. Rolling 
Stone inaugurated a forum on 
CompuServe this summer, while 
this month, Newsweek launch¬ 
es Virtual City, a cyberspace- 
lifestyle newsstand magazine that 
will include online areas on 
Prodigy and the Internet. 

■ Don’t quite know how to find 
that popular Netscape Navigator 
browser everyone's been talking 
about? Don't fret. Netscape has 
bundled it into the Netscape 
Navigator Personal Edition, 
the company's first foray into the 
retail business. The package 
includes pathways to Internet 
accounts with four national 
providers (Netcom, Portal, MCI 
Internet, and UUNET). The com- 

continued on page 14 

Cyber MOVjB Mclfl CyberNOT 

ith the summer's cinema sizzlers still commanding long lines at theaters and the new crop of fall 
releases already on the playbill, check out this full house of World Wide Web pages devoted to the sil¬ 
ver screen. (For more ideas, see reviews of sites devoted to Batman Forever and The Net in Wirehead 

on page 36.) Just like the movies themselves, some of these offerings are blockbusters and others are bombs. 

The Basketball Diaries 

The Basketball Diaries Good 

info about the underrated movie, but the 

basketball.html Everything a film com- 

real treat here is the sound clips of 

panv page shouldn't be. Offering up only 

author/protagonist Jim Carroll reading 

the movie poster isn’t enough, guys. This 

from his work. The real thing. 

site fouls out. 

Apollo 13 

Mortal Kombat 

apollol 3/index.html We don’t think Tom 

shang/shang.html Let’s face it, interactive 

Hanks will land a third Academy Award 

is better than passive. Play the arcade 

for this one, but the site is a winner. 

game, forget the movie. 

Blade Runner 


html One of the movies’ most enduring 

Much ado about a thoroughly dull 

sci-fi visions gets a fan-created Web page 

movie. Kudos for coverage of endangered 

that links to everything Blade Runner- 

mountain gorillas, though. 

First Knight 

Tales From the Crypt 

Presents Demon Knight 

Movies/16knighthtml Is anybody else hav¬ 

ing trouble buying Richard Gere as Sir 

tales/crypt.html Cool creepy stuff in 3-D. 

Lancelot of the Round Table? 


Johnny Mnemonic 

Pocahontas/Pocahontas.html You might 

Movies/07multi.html More hype about a 

be sick of the Native American Princess 

truly underwhelming movie. You’re bet¬ 

by now, but your kids aren’t. 

ter off with the CD-ROM game. 


—Compiled by Donald St. Jolm | 

Slim Pickings 

Take your VPick. 

1 irtual music used to mean throw- 
■ ing on your favorite album, danc- 
V ing around the room, and doing 
some screaming bends on your air 
guitar. Last year, Ahead tried to 
improve on the concept with its 
Virtual Guitar, a $110 plastic axe that hooked up to your 
computer. But the pricey instrument didn’t exactly leave 
music fans dancing in the streets (see Sharp Edge, 
September 1994, page 9). 

This year, Ahead has simplified the concept VPick 
is an oversized guitar pick that attaches to your serial or 
parallel port Then, instead of risking an amputation on 
the Virtual Guitar’s razor blade-like strings, you just 

ib a tennis racket and strum the catgut to the 
illman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post” (on 
Ahead’s game Quest For Fame Starring 

Seem silly? Well, sure, but at $14.95, 
the VPick is inexpensive enough to hit 
the right chord with consumers. 

Ahead also has new games in the 
works based on country, classical, 
and folk music that will support 
the VPick. In the meantime, look for the VPick to be 
bundled with Quest For Fame. (Ahead; 800-872-7827; 
$14.95, $59.95 with Quest For Fame) 

Platform: Win CD/Mac CD 


Multimedia News 






from page 12 

utes to sign on and get going 
online. The Personal Edition is 

bookstores, and other retail out¬ 
lets. (Netscape Communi¬ 
cations; 415-528-2619; Win¬ 
dows/Mac, $39) 

■ Microsoft, Netscape Corn- 

Networks are responding to the 
growing conservative frenzy con¬ 
cerning the transmission of sex¬ 
ually explicit material over 

has founded the Information 
Highway Parental Em¬ 
powerment Group, which will 
research and report by year’s end 
on ways to prevent minors from 
gaining access to “inappropriate" 
material. Electronic filters would 
allow users to block the receipt of 

letin boards and discussion 
groups. The group is also recom¬ 
mending the voluntary adoption 
of a rating system for Internet 

Similar anti-smut efforts are 

Information Technology As¬ 
sociation of America (ITAA), 

whose members include IBM, 
AT&T, and Microsoft. Harris 
Miller, rTAA's president, cites bet¬ 
ter training, a code of standards 
for user groups and chat rooms, 
and blocking technologies among 
the techniques his organization 
endorses for addressing the prob- 

speech. Products such as Spry’s 
Crossing Guard and Safe Surfs 

already answering the call for 
greater control over access to 
inappropriate online material. 



what it’s like to be in the game 
and be dealing with me as their 

E 2 ' So if the player goes three 
and out, they’re going to go to 
the sidelines and catch hell 
from you? 

Ditka: Right. I might be a little 
sarcastic and say, “Hey, rook, 
it’s not like you thought it was 
gonna be, eh?!”—something I’d 
never do in real life. I don’t par¬ 
ticularly try to come across as a 
nice guy in this game. 

E^'So if your line breaks down, 
you're going to see some 280 - 
pound behemoth lying on top 

Ditka: Exactly. 

E 2 ' I understand you used real 
players when you shot the 
footage for the game. 

Ditka: Yeah, we dkL.some were 
high school athletes, some were 
actors who looked like football 
players, but I knew they weren’t 
’cause they were too smart. A lot 
of them had played football, 
though. They simulated the 
game and the sideline situations 
extremely well. 

E 2; Can someone who watches 
football on Sunday, but doesn’t 

Sons, still enjoy this game? 

Ditka: Absolutely. We don’t get 
into the technicalities at all. 

£ 2: But then how do you 
engage the heady fan? 

Ditka: Because the player has the 
option of doing different things. 
You have to call the right plays 
and then execute them flawlessly 
to succeed. There is some strate¬ 
gy involved. But let’s be honest; 
Football is not brain surgery. 

E 2 -' So, do you have any predic¬ 
tions for the upcoming real 
football season? 

Ditka: Yeah, I do. The 49ers are 
gonna beat the New England 
Patriots in the Super Bowl. 

F or years, Mike 
Ditka has 
been one of 
the living legends 
of football—first 
as an All-Pro 

a Super Bou 
winning coach, and now as a 
tough-talking NBC analyst. 
Already a computer-game veter¬ 
an, Ditka has joined up with 
Digital Pictures to produce 
Quarterback Attack, a full- 
motion-video-based computer 
game due out this fall. Electronic 
Entertainment’s Donald St. John 
chatted with the coach about 
electronic football. 

from the video, how does 
Quarterback Attack differ from 
your first game (Accolade’s 
Mike Ditka Ultimate Football)? 

Mike Ditka: There’s more inter¬ 
activity in this one. The player 
becomes the quarterback, the 
person I’m interacting with 
constantly during the game— 
giving ’em hell at times, pat- 


Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold's 

Time stands still! Thousands of liues are at stake! 

Join Korda, the Chronomaster, in this epic quest For uengeance in a Future inhere magic & science co¬ 
exist. This ground-breaking Graphic Bduenture mill take you on a journey through man-made pocket 
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mystery, re-stqrt the uniuerses and return justice to the stars? 

Multimedia News 



0 ) 



ComputerMania, technology 
rs for home-computer 
i this fall with Softbank 
Exposition and Conference Co. 

Ziff-Davis Publishing’s 
Consumer Media Group. The 
shows will be held in Anaheim, 
and in Dallas, 
so for home-technology 
is the Home & Family 
Computing Supershow, to be 
held this fall and winter in 
Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco, 

opportunity to play new comput- 
james, send e-mail to celebri- 
, explore interactive TV and 
Internet, and test-drive new 
computer systems. 

1 the spring of 1 945, in 
is now San Francisco’s 
Opera House, government and 

nations negotiated and drafted 
the text of the United Nations 
(UN) Charter. To celebrate the 
UN’s 50th anniversary and 
promote awareness of the 
body's considerable achieve¬ 
ments, the UN50 Committee 
of San Francisco has 
launched a UN World Wide 
page at http://www.lh. 
com/un50sf. The site in¬ 
cludes a calendar of UN-relat- 
d events; a special kids sec- 
Dn; information on UN deci- 
on-making, post-Cold War 
N conferences; and contact 
ifo for UN ambassadors, 
ou'll also find a history of San 
rancisco's role in the UN's 

The lew Cafe Society 

f you’re primed for your entree into Internet 
cafe society, then check into two new hot spots 
in New York City’s grungy but cool East 
Village. Fast earning the moniker “Silicon 
Village,” the neighborhood plays host to a pair 
of hip new gathering places for the so-called 
Downtown Digerati. Both establishments offer 

e-mail addresses and _ 

can help you create 
your own home page 
on the Internet’s 
World Wide Web. 

These wired watering 
holes also rent and 
sell CD-ROM titles, 
sponsor various art 
and cultural events, 
and (surprise!) serve 
java and other chic 

The 2,500 sq. ft. @cafe, which makes its 
home in a former hippie haven on St. Mark’s 
Place, boasts a full bar, an eclectic menu, and 
more than 15 different computers linked to the 
Internet with superfast T1 access. Peopled by 
smart young Generation X types, the brick- 
walled @cafe offers its own web site 
( and CU-SeeMe technology that 

by New York’s Internet Cafe for a byte or 

lets patrons use the computers for impromptu 
videoconferencing. (@cafe; 12 St. Mark’s Place, 
NYC; 212-979-5439; 

Down a few blocks on 3rd St., the smaller 
and quieter Internet Cafe shares a block 
with the New York chapter of the Hell’s 
Angels. The Cafe’s edibles are limited to cof- 

_ fee and desserts, 

but the menu does 
boast printing and 
scanning services. 
This more-intimate 
establishment has 
five terminals 
hooked up to its 
high-speed 56Kbps 
line, plus plenty of 
connections for 
patrons who bring 
their own laptops. 
You can also buy paperback books and mag¬ 
azines. Visit the cafe’s web site at http;// (Internet Cafe; 82 E. 3rd 
St., NYC; 212-614-0747) 

For more information on digital cafes 
around the world, log onto http://www. easynet or the altcybercafes 
newsgroup. —Fredric Paul 

The Face of Fame 

Great Entertainers. The Windows disc will indude the mas¬ 
ter’s hilarious and insightful renderings of Marilyn Monroe, 
Charlie Chaplin, The Beatles, Madonna, and more than a 
thousand others. And the title’s dever morphing feature 
flows the drawings seamlessly from one to another. 
Hirschfeld even helped design the produd’s interface. 

There will also be in-depth interviews with Hirschfeld 
and his daughter, Nina, whose name is hidden in every one 
of her father’s drawings. See if you can find them all. 

In addition to the standard release, Jasmine will also 
create a numbered, limited-edition disc signed by the artist 
(Jasmine Multimedia; 800-798-7535; standard edition 
$45.95, limited edition $1,000) -Ann M. Marcus 

Platform: Win CD Available: September 

92-year-old Hirschfeld is thrilled with 
the technology that brings more than a 
thousand of his drawings to CD-ROM. 


Rise of the Triad Official 
Player’s Guide 

By Bernie Vee 

Don’t venture into 
the heart of dark¬ 
ness without this 
hot strategy 
guide! This guide 
takes apart every 
level of this blast- 
fest, and will give 
you the hands-on 
tips to succeed 
where others 
have failed! 



Dark Forces Official 
Player’s Guide 

By Jeff Hoff 

The Empire is up to 
some new tricks in 
Dark Forces, the 
exciting Star Wars 
game. Armed with 
over 240 pages of Jedi 
tips, strategies, tac¬ 
tics, maps and intelli¬ 
gence secrets, you’ll 
be able to survive 14 
grueling missions and 
save the Rebel Alliance. 


Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.1 
Authorized Pilot’s Guide 

By Shay Bddams 

Improve your flying skills with this guide to the 
hottest flight-simulation game of all time! This 
exciting guide 
gives you 240 
pages of piloting 
tips and flight 
landing and 
takeoff strate¬ 
gies, and in- 
depth profiles of 
each airplane 



Full Throttle Official 
Player’s Guide 

By Jo Bshburn 




Call 800-360-2228 to order NOW! 

• Add $4.00 for shipping and handling ($6.50 to ship to Canada, $12.00 to ship outside U.S.) Add $2.00 extra for each additional 
book ordered, $3.00 extra outside the U.S. 

• Add sales tax, residents of CA, IL, and NJ only (CA = 8.25%, IL = 

: 6.25%, NJ=6%) 


Myst Stunning visuals, haunting audio, and intriguing O 
puzzles keep this unique adventure game perpetually 4 
near the top of the Leader Board. (Broderbund; 800- 
521-6263; Win CD, $55) 

Doom II This hair-raising sequel has more than 30 7 

levels, seven hellish new creatures, and a double-bar¬ 
reled shotgun for lots of unfriendly fire. (GT Interactive; 
800-332-4300; DOS CD, street price $40-$50) 

Descent Maneuver your ship in all directions as you R 
fight off defense robots and search for hostages in a “ 
' series of off-world mines. (Interplay; 800-969-4263; 
DOS/DOS CD, $39) 

DIZone Collector’s Edition Play more than 900 Q 
I new Doom levels, build your own episodes, and cus- u 
1 tomize multiplayer Deathmatches. (WizardWorks; 

612-559-5301; DOS CD, $39.99) 

SimCity 2000 Build your city of the future with this ^ 
1 (Maxis; 800-336-2947; DOS/Windows, $54.95) 

Rise of the Triad A slick variation of Doom that tips _ 

X-COM: Terror From the Deep Search the ocean 
floor and destroy an army of sea monsters controlled 
by evil aliens in this strategy adventure. (MicroProse; 
800-879-7529; DOS CD, $47.95) 


shelves. (Microsoft; 800-426-9400; DOS, $49.95) 

Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack The 13 



Myst Stunning visuals, haunting audio, and intriguing 
puzzles keep this unique adventure game perpetually 
at the top of the charts. (Brederbund; 800-521- 
6263; Mac CD, $55) 

Marathon The first high-quality Doom-like game for 
- the Mac places you on the Marathon, a spaceship 
that has been invaded by murderous aliens; eliminate 
them and save your comrades. (Bungie; 312-563- 
6200; Mac/Mac CD, street price $39-$45) 

(Mindscape; 800-234-3088; Mac CD, $51) 

SimCity 2000 Build your own city of the future 
this improved version of the classic urban-simul 
' game. (Maxis; 800-336-2947; Mac, $49.95) 

Leader Board is a compilation of the top-selling software in 1,300 retail stores for April 1995. Some titles may appear in more than one category. Source: PC Data. 


should be 
harassed and 

You have to be persistent to be a photographer in 
Tinseltown. Celebrity-hunting is hard work. Exposing 
scandal on film is even harder. You take your best 
shot, then still have to find a buyer. Competition is 
fierce. You do a little detective work to get ahead 
of the game...lose a little integrity to get further. 
The paparazzi motto: one picture is worth a 
thousand bucks. 

Now, you star-hounders can step into a tabloid 
photographer’s absurd interactive career. 
Paparazzi! Tales of Tinseltown features 60 actors 
in two hours of live video, 

CD-quality audio and an 
original live soundtrack. Plus, 
plenty of star-studded locations to explore and juicy 
gossip-laden celebrities to exploit. But don’t worry, in Paparazzi! the people 
you shoot don’t die...they just wish they were dead. 

Available Now on PC paparazzi (pap-9-rat-'sB) n, 1. freelance photographers who 

and MAC CD-ROM pursue celebrities to take candid photos. 2. see sleazebags 

papa r azzi! 

Tales of TinSeltowi 


Get more gossip and win @ 

/ision, Inc. Paparazzi! Tales of Tinseltown is a trademark of Museworthy, Inc. © 1995 Museworthy, Inc. All rights reserved. Published and distributed by Activision, Inc. 



Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger 
blew away all of its competition on PC-CD, sweeping 
awards from Computer Game Review, InterActive 
Gaming, Login Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. 

Now, the best-selling ORIGIN Interactive Movie is 
available on the 3DO™ System, and is coming soon for 

Sega™ Saturn™, Sony® Playstation™ and Macintosh®! 

Match wits with an ensemble cast, including Mark 
Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, Tom Wilson, Jason 
Bernard, and John Rhys-Davies. 

Then match dogfighting skills with the Kilrathi race 
from the cockpit of your Confederation starfighter. 


^ _ MS-DOS 

^ CD©? 

M ‘ html 

ORIGIN Systems is an Electronic Arts® Company *5918 West Courtyard Dr. • Austin, TX 78730 

© 1995, ORIGIN Systems, Inc. Heart of the Tiger is a trademark of ORIGIN Systems, Inc. Origin, Wing Commander and Origin 
InteractiveMovie are ^registered trademarks of ORIGIN Systems, Inc. Electronic Arts is a registered trademark of Electronic Arts. Sony is 

of SEGA ENTERPRISES, LTD. All rights^eserved.^acintosh is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. 

Multimedia Reviews 



Compaq’s PC Toybox 

F or a company that 
used to consider com¬ 
puters solely a business tool, Compaq has 
learned a lot about the entertainment mar¬ 

ket The Presario CDTV 978 has all the 

features fun-loving consumers demand- 
except for an affordable price. 

At its core, the CDTV 978 sports an Intel 
Pentium 75 processor, 8MB of RAM, and a 
725MB hard drive. An integrated PCI local- 
bus graphics adapter with 1 MB of video 
DRAM puts the pictures on the screen with 
ease. That's enough horsepower to run all 
but the most computer-abusing games and 

multimedia software. 

Then there are the 
extras. The CDTV 978's 
hardware lineup in¬ 
cludes a quad-speed 
CD-ROM drive, a 16-bit 
Sound Blaster-compat¬ 
ible sound card, an inte¬ 
grated speakerphone, a 
14.4Kbps fax modem, 
and a cable-ready TV 
tuner card. 

978 provides 
plenty of 
software, too. The 25 prein¬ 
stalled titles include Media- 
Riot for centralized control 
of TV, CD audio, voice mail, and faxing under 
Windows; Microsoft Encarta and Works for 
Windows; and Sierra On-Line/Dynamix's Lode 
Runner, The Even More Incredible Machine, 
and King's Quest VI games. 

The system even looks good when you 
open the slick vertical case. Hand-remov¬ 
able metal screws hold up the sides. When 
you slip off the access panels, you’re greet¬ 
ed by an unusual sight: neatly laid-out 
cables, easily accessible slots, and plenty of 
space to work, which proves to be a bless¬ 

ing if you need access to the available drive 
or bus slots to add a bigger hard drive or a 
sweeter-sounding wavetable sound card. 

Unfortunately, upgradability is the one 
place where the CDTV 978 slips The built-in 
local-bus graphics cannot be disabled, so you 
can't install any of the fancy 3-D or video¬ 
accelerator cards about to hit the market 

Our review system also included Com¬ 
paq’s 15-inch Presario 140 Multimedia Mo¬ 
nitor ($150 to upgrade from the standard 
14-inch model that comes with the system), 
which includes built-in speakers and a micro¬ 
phone. What it lacks is a volume control, forc¬ 
ing you to rely on the software utilities sup¬ 
plied with the PC. While the Windows control 
is fine, the memory-resident DOS utility 
doesn't work with all software. Just be sure 
to drop the volume before you start a new 
program, or you may get an earful. 

The CDTV 978’s features don’t come 
cheap: At $2,449 with a 14-inch monitor 
(nearly $2,600 if you go for the barely 
acceptable 15-inch monitor), it’s pricey even 
when you throw in Compaq's lifetime toll-free 
tech support But if you can afford it and don't 
mind some upgrade limitations, the Presario 
CDTV 978 delivers top-quality fun. (Compaq 
Computer; 800-888-5858; $2,449 with a 
14-inch monitor) -Christopher Lindquist 

Format: PC 
Rating: * * * -t 

|~ 1 ilitary avia- 

Wings Over ton butts wm 

|. . __ _ j soar w h en they see 

J j t > Discovery Channel 



if - 


jj f ~m yV Korea To Vietnam, 

. a historical title that 

covers aerial-warfare 
' Jan rSS advancements in 
. Asian conflicts from 

" 1945 through 1975. 

Desktop pilots can visit air bases set in each time period and 
check out 15 different 3-D modeled aircraft, including the F4U- 
4 Corsair, Sabre, and MiG-15. Manipulating each aircraft for a 
complete 360-degree view is as easy as pointing and clicking. 
You can also print out pictures of your favorite aircraft (espe¬ 

cially effective on a color printer) or watch a series of video clips 
that depict actual warfare tactics used during each time period. 

You can also browse through an extensive database con¬ 
taining technical and service information on more than 200 
weapons systems and 500 aircraft, along with 1,000 wartime 
photographs. Wings also includes articles detailing the role of 
aircraft in modern warfare, plus an hour of live-action video. 

As an added bonus, Discovery throws in three rudimentary 
flight sims that let you take to the skies in aircraft from each era. 
There’s even a classic Sabre vs. MiG showdown. These simula¬ 
tions help add a sense of participation and tangibility to this well- 
executed historical title, (Discovery Channel Multimedia; 800- 
762-2189; $49.95) -Steve Klett & Anthony Lukban 

Format: Win/Mac/Power Mac CD 


22 September 


One-Piece Wonder 

T he Macintosh Performs 5200CD 

is the Power Mac for the rest of us. 
While the first Macintoshes to use the fast 
new PowerPC chips were relatively high- 
priced models aimed at business users, the 
one-piece 5200 is targeted directly at the 
home and entertainment market 
For about $2,000, the 5200CD comes 
standard with an acceptable 8MB of RAM 
(upgradable to 64MB) and an 800MB hard 
drive, up from the 500-700MB options on 
earlier Performas. (You can also opt for the 
5215CD, which boasts a 1GB drive.) On 
the multimedia side, the 5200CD ships 
with a built-in 15-inch monitor, quad-speed 
CD-ROM drive, 16-bit sound card, integrat¬ 
ed stereo speakers, and a microphone. You 
also get a built-in 14.4Kbps internal fax 
modem, with answering machine capabili¬ 
ties and a full-duplex speakerphone. For 
about $250 more, you can turn the com¬ 
puter into a combination video-editing cen¬ 
ter and cable-ready TV set 
Just as important, the system's 75MHz 
RISC-based PowerPC 603 processor deliv- 
s performance roughly comparable t 

ran at warp speed on our test 
system, and Mechadeus' The 
Daedalus Encounter, a memory 
glutton, was just as peppy. 

Best of all, the hot performance 
and slick features 
with all the ergonomic 
advantages of 
a Macintosh. 

Setting up the 
system was 
a breeze The 5200 series comes with a large 
set-up poster, but you wont need it The one- 
piece construction means no confusing cables 
to untangle or hook up; just plug it in and go. 
The 50-pound integrated system tilts from 5 
to 15 degrees and swivels 360 degrees for 
quick access to the back panel and hook-ups. 
And unlike one-piece PCs, this Power Mac 
can be easily expanded with SCSI peripherals. 

Once you’re running, the volume con¬ 
trols and headphone jack are sensibly 
placed on the front of the computer. An 
infrared remote control sensor and screen 
control buttons are also located on the 
computer's face (a remote control cor 

832-by-624 (81 dots per inch) on the fly. 

Of course, you need software, and the 
5200CD comes with a generous selection, 
including kids' titles, reference works, 
home finance applications, and productivi¬ 
ty tools. The bundle doesn't include top¬ 
flight games, however. 

The 5200CD’s hot performance, robust 
feature set, hefty software pack, and afford¬ 
able price certainly make it a legitimate alter¬ 
native to a Pentium if you're in the market for 
a multimedia machine. With special software, 
it will even run many DOS and Windows pro¬ 
grams. (Apple Computer; 800-776-2333; 
$1,999-$2,299) -Joel Enos 

75MPIz Pentium-at a comparable price. For with the TV tuner). You can even adjust 
example, StarPress’s Material World multi- the ,28mm dot pitch screen resolution 
media title, which is a bit pokey on a Quadra, from 640-by-480 (63 dots per inch) to 

Platform: Mac 

Rating: * + + * + 

Swimming Imagery produce hilarious results; imagine a model’s arms and legs 

disappearing in Cheshire Cat-like fashion against the backdrop 
MAM elcome to the low-rent multimedia version of the Sports of the glistening shoreline. 

VV Illustrated swimsuit issue. The Ujena Swimwear Fun and games are limited to The 

seems aimed at seriously superficial 

males poisoned by testosterone. '' r -\MfcT m f- 

The 70-plus blue-screen photos of 
swimsuit models superimposed 

over picturesque beach scenes are T | ; A 3 j 

only mildly interesting, a bland elec- _ f§ 

tronic version of the'50s pinups. : IfSDliflfl "M 

The title is not exactly a techno- . pB/Jf-" .. . *( ■ 

logical marvel, either. For example, 

you’re not supposed to notice that |- * ' ■ -/ f - <«^HL 

the producers have adhered sand to - ' ‘M 

except for one to four small circles 
showing a fragment of the underlying 
image-and Puzzle Solver, a take-off on 
the Vid Grid games, in which you 
assemble pieces of an image. 

Eventually, boredom will replace 
laughter, and you will wonder why you 
felt your PC couldn’t survive without 
this silly electronic trash. (Aztech 

1 Software; 800-625-5455; $34.95) 

J -Donald St. John 

the models’ legs to bolster the illu- " , *- 

sion that they're really on the beach. So (ftfs is the girl of your dreams? 

Also, the cheesy “animations” often 

Platform: Windows 

Rating: M 


Multimedia Reviews 

Creative Modeming 

T he long arm of Creative Labs just 
keeps on growing. Now the company, 
best known for its Sound Blastei 
has entered the world of online 
cations with the Modem Blaster 2&& 
Rather than just a modem in a box with 
some basic communications software, the 
Modem Blaster comes complete 
with a variety of games, 
online-services soft¬ 
ware, and Internet utili¬ 
ties designed to jump- 
start new modemaniacs. 

If you’d rather not pop 
the top on your PC, you 
should find another mo¬ 
dem; Creative doesn’t 
make an external version 
of the Modem Blaster. 

Fortunately, the product comes with 
rudimentary but clear installation in¬ 
structions, including information on how 
to change jumper settings should you 
run into any conflicts with your system's 
existing hardware. 

Once you're up and running, take your 
pick of software toys. Load up "special 

Creative Labs’ Modem Blaster 
28.8 has the speed you need f 
today’s multiplayer games. 

edition” (read: incomplete) versions of 
Doom, Descent, Heretic, or Warcraft: 
Ores and Humans. Then hook up with a 
modem-owning friend for some two- 
player action. If you'd rather cruise the 
Web, install the Chameleon Internet 
Tools from NetManage, quickly set up an 
account with Perfor¬ 
mance Systems Inter¬ 
national (subscriptions 
start at just $9 per 
month for nine hours of 
use), and you’ll be a 
'Nethead in no time. 

You get all of this for 
a street price of around 
$220. If you’ve got more 
time than money, you 
can pick up a slower 
14.4Kbps model for just $110. Re¬ 
gardless, the Modem Blaster will give you 
plenty to explore, all packaged in one 
neat box. (Creative Labs; 800-998-5227; 
street price $220) -Christopher Lindquist 

The Native 



B efore Europeans arrived on this 
continent, some 500 tribes of 
native Americans lived here. Microsoft 
Home’s 500 Nations CD-ROM brings 
to life the history of these myriad peo¬ 
ple's religion, art, architecture, war, and 
peace. Narrated by Kevin Costner and 
corresponding with last spring's four- 
part TV miniseries, this Windows disc 
chronicles the Native American experi¬ 
ence from the rise and fall of the Mayan 

society between 200 and 800 A.D. to 
the massacre at Wounded Knee, South 
Dakota in 1890. 

Learn how the Aztec emperor Mote- 
cuhzoma feared for the lives of his 
people because of a prophecy, and see 
paintings that depict the arrival of 
Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortes 
on the Gulf of Mexico in 1519. You’ll 
have an opportunity to grasp the indig¬ 
nities that Native Americans endured 
as they were forced onto reservations. 
There are more than a dozen story¬ 
tellers who bring the history to life. 
Costner’s adoring approach can seem a 
bit sanctimonious, but the title's 30 min¬ 
utes of video, four and a half hours of 
audio, 2,000 photographs, and comput¬ 
er-generated graphics of ancient civi¬ 
lization make the disc truly engrossing 
and important. (Microsoft; 800-426- 
9400; $39.95) -Suzanne Frear 

Format: Win CD, Mac CD 
Rating: * + + * 



Multimedia Reviews 




T his year's been a good one for Marilyn 
mania. On top of a commemorative 
postage stamp, a total of four new CD-ROM titles will recap 
Marilyn Monroe’s life and times. Corel CD Home's Bernard of 
Hollywood’s Marilyn is the first of these digital tributes to 
make it to the store shelves. 

But first doesn't necessarily mean best Unfortunately, this disc, 
based on the book by Susan Bernard—daughter of the famous 
photographer known as “Bernard of Hollywood”-is a clunky, dis¬ 
jointed collection of hit-or-miss text a hundred intriguing photos, 
narrative audio clips, and some interesting video. 

Using a journal metaphor to chronicle Marilyn's career, it pushes 
purple prose to the limit, even describing what Marilyn was suppos¬ 
edly feeling and thinking. The point of view shifts from Bernard to 
Marilyn, occasionally making the narrative hard to follow—especially 
since the entries often come without benefit of dates or context 
Factual contradictions-such as which studio had just dumped 

Marilyn when she was discov¬ 
ered by the William Morris agent, 
Johnny Hyde-dont help either. 

Things don't get better on the 
multimedia side. Pages with 
Bernard's audio narration start 
playing automatically, even though 
you're usually still reading text from the previous entry. The screen 
doesn't advance to keep up with the narration. And you can barely hear 
the narration over the soundtrack; you must turn off the music if you 
want to listen to Bernard. Navigation is also frustrating: the arrow 
icons that advance you to the next page don’t appear consistently, 
and there's no search function, either. 

Even with the title's interesting photos, if you really love Marilyn, 
you may want to delay your purchase decision until you see the rest 
of the soon-to-appear Norma Jean interactive brigade: Gazelle 
Technologies’ Marilyn & Andre, Fox Interactive's Marilyn Monroe 
Interactive Biography, and Hard Evidence: The Marilyn Monroe 
Files from Novell's PerfectHome division. (Corel CD Home; 613- 
728-8200; $69.95) -Christine Grech 

Platform: Win/Mac CD Rating: ■¥ -i 

■43P new multimedia games? A quad-speed upgrade i 
anyone who can turn a screwdriver add sound and CD 
almost any PC. We took two top-end kits out for a test i 

to test Reveal's 24-hour c 
service. We got through 
1 a.m. on the company’s c 


Made Easy 

ROM drive; The Turtle Beach Entertainer sports a Mitsumi drive. 
Both kits include 16-bit wavetable sound cards, speakers, an 

- installation video, and software. 

The real difference was in the titles 
bundled in each kit Reveal packs 47 
popular titles, including such hits as 
Interplay’s Cyberia, Origin's Wing 
Commander Privateer, Mindscape’s 
Dragon Lore, and Maxis’ SimCity 
2000. You also get a rapid-fire joy¬ 
stick, a microphone, and a set of 
High-powered speakers, headphones. By contrast, the most 
47 titles, and hardware interesting of the Entertainer’s 12 

extras make the Quad titles are p apyrus ' | ndy C ar Racing 

Elite a strong performer. gnd LucasArts , Rebe) Assau|t Speda| 

Edition, and there are no extra hardware goodies. Both kits come 
with a variety of WAV audio files and software to manipulate them. 

Installation of both kits was fairly simple: Reveal’s kit took less 
than an hour to install, the Turtle Beach kit about twice that We 
plugged in the sound cards, hooked up the CD-ROM drives, and 
loaded the required software. But neither kit worked right away. 

awake and helpful. 

Once properly installed, both kits 
delivered immediate speed and 
acoustic boosts over older double- Smallspeakers and a 

limited selection of titles 

speed drives and FM synthesis make the Entertainer a 
sound cards. Surprisingly, given weak act. 

Turtle Beach’s reputation for audio 

excellence, Reveal won the sound derby with a pair of 80-watt 
powered speakers featuring separate bass, treble, and volume 
controls. The Entertainer makes do with small, software-controlled 
speakers that sounded tinny and bassless. 

If you’ve got about $500 to spend upgrading your PC, the Reveal 
Quad Elite XL is a better all-around package for the money. (Reveal; 
800-738-3251; $549. Turtle Beach; 800-645-5640; $449) 

-John Sauer and Steve Klett 

Reveal Quad Elite XL 
Platform: PC Rating: 

Turtle Beach Entertainer 
Platform: PC Rating: 


WC Pi^Pep 

T flC 


It’s the greatest NBA® JAM TE'“ yet! This Jam takes it to a higher court 
with stunning graphics, player scaling, full motion video and the actual 
big heads and baby mode arcade feature! Plus, you get updated player 
rosters, all-new secret characters, and mind-blowing stereo music and 
sound F/X! NBA Jam TjL.Get Pumped! 








Multimedia Reviews 



Meet the 

T he Masters tournament may happen 
only once a year, but with The Masters 
CD from Creative Multimedia, dedicated duf¬ 
fers can visit the world-famous Augusta 
National course as often as they like. 

This disc allows you to explore the rich 
60-year history of the Masters at your own 
pace. Take a leisurely stroll down memo¬ 

ry lane, starting with anecdotes from the 
first tournament in 1934, or jump right to 
the 1994 Masters for a rundown of the 
most recent highlights. 

Either way, this disc has all the stuff golf 
buffs could want You get in-depth descrip¬ 
tions of each of Augusta’s 18 holes, includ¬ 
ing contour maps of all the greens and video 
fly-bys. Relive great Masters moments and 
get detailed information about each tourna- 
ment-from the weather to the winner. 

You’re also sure to improve your golf- 
trivia handicap by picking up a few choice 
factoids, like the name of the golfer who 
sank the longest putt in Masters’ history i 
(Nick Faldo in 1989) or the one who missed ; 
the shortest putt (Tommy Armour in 1937). : 

The disc also follows the Masters’ tradi- j 
tion for quality, with its excellent graphics, 
video, and sound. While The Masters CD may 
not be everyone’s hole-in-one, it’s a gimme 
putt for golf purists. (Creative Multimedia; 
503-241 -4351; $39.95) -Sfeve Klett 

Platform: Win CD, Mac CD 
Rating: * * * * 

T wo new CD-ROM screen savers from 
Wild World Software make seeing 
exotic places as easy as turning on your 
computer. Australia Wild features 280 
breathtaking photographs of kangaroos, 
koalas, and sea turtles snapped by Aus¬ 
tralian photographer Darren Jew. 

From frozen fjords to sizzling veldts, 
Alaska Wild/Africa Wild dresses up your 

snatching trout from an Alaskan stream or a 
young lion lolling on the African savannah. 

Unfortunately, both titles lack animation, 
but the still photos are captivating. Floppy 
disk versions of both titles that contain only 
50 photographs each are also available. 
(Wild World Software; 206-402-6399; 
$39.95 each) -Suzanne Frear 

Platform: Win CD, Win 
Rating: * * * 

screen with 310 full-screen photos ot two 
wildly different landscapes. See a brown bear 

M ost computers today support 
CD-quality, 16-bit stereo sound. 
Unfortunately, you may not realize it 
unless you have the proper speakers. 

sound is three-piece speaker systems 

that include a subwoofer to provide Make multimedia shake, rattle and roll 
. ... _ _ with Bose’s MediaMate speakers, 

booming bass (see Make Doom Go 

Boom!”, August 1995, page 78), Bose’s computer speakers provide 

comparable performance without the cumbersome subwoofer. 

With close-up listening in mind, Bose uses proprietary circuitry to produce rich, 
deep bass even at low volume. The MediaMates may not shake the building, but they 
will rattle your desktop. On the high end, the MediaMates do an above-average job 
of treble reproduction. 

The MediaMates are even stylish. The trim, grey texture rectangular enclosures are 
about the size of a tilted brick, so they won’t take up a lot of desktop real estate. If 
you’re really crammed for space, you can mount them on the sides of your monitor. 

Two sound-source inputs accommodate both computer sound cards and an extra 
sound source such as a portable CD player. Source mixing and volume controls, as 
well as a headphone jack, are located where they should be-in front, for easy access. 

At $339, the MediaMate speakers are expensive, costing more than many sub- 
woofer-equipped speaker systems. But they let you attach Bose quality to your com¬ 
puter for a lot less than the $699 you’ll pay for Bose’s own Acoustimass three-piece 
system. (Bose; 800-444-2673; $339) -Sfeve Klett 

Platform: PC/Mac Rating: 


8:62 fti-WQK UP IN luuma 

m m-iid TEQUIlft with mm rues. 





Multimedia Reviews 


f Monks Had Macs... is a long¬ 
standing, eclectic archive of fasci- 
ting stuff originally released in Hyper- 

to Voyager, on CD-ROM for the Mac. 

This fascinating hodgepodge of 
ideas from Brian Thomas and friends 

interface. Read Thoreau’s evocative 
Walden or Thomas a Kempis’ medieval 
tome Imitation of Christ; check out 
actual Warren Commission testimony 
on the assassination of President 
Kennedy; or peruse a critique of 16th- 
century Flemish painter Pieter Brue¬ 
gel’s “Tower of Babel.” 

There are plenty of places for you to 
make your own mark, including the Get 
An Inner Life! section, where you learn 
creative journal-keeping, or the Monks’ 
Memory Challenge, an interactive fact 
game. If Monks Had Macs... is a rich 
compendium of thought-provoking 
material that would make any Gre¬ 
gorian chant. (Voyager; 800-446-2001; 
$34.95) -Donald St. John 

W hile Microsoft, Apple, Sony, and others scramble to create enhanced CDs of 
pop music releases, a couple of small companies are quietly making the con¬ 
cept a reality with classical music. 

Multimedia developer Music Pen and budget-classical producer Delta Music have 
teamed up to create a line of LaserLight Digital CD+ROM discs that add multimedia 
liner notes to classical music CDs. Pop the discs into your CD player to hear the music 
(just be sure to skip Track 1), or stick them into your Windows PC to see the musical 
score, read liner notes, or watch five to ten minutes of video that shows the composers’ 
native countryside. 

Although the performances are public-domain and the CD-ROM portion relatively 
limited, the discs cost less than $10-compared to about $5 for audio-only LaserLight 
discs. The companies have already released 15 different works, including all nine 
Beethoven symphonies, Mozart’s sym¬ 
phonies No. 40 and 41, Bach’s 
Brandenburg Concertos #1-3 and #4-6, 

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Dvorak’s 
New World Symphony. They plan to offer 
35 titles by the end of the year and 80 by the 
end of 1996. And because all the discs 
share the same icon and interface, you have 
to install them only once. (Delta Music; 310- 
453-9504; $9.95 each) -Fredric Paul 

Of Ideas 


Digital Dirt 

I s an unruly spread of impertinent 
weeds about to take over your lawn? 
You could rent a goat to clear the scrub, 
but you’d be better off consulting the 
Garden Encyclopedia for tips on turning 
your wasteland into a floral graceland. The 
CD-ROM reference title features detailed 
information on preparing soil, selecting 
plants, performing successful transplants, 
and caring for your new garden. The com¬ 
prehensive database covers more than 
1,000 flowers and plants. 

The Garden Encyclopedia's artful inter¬ 
face offers multiple ways to get your hands 
dirty. The helpful gardening tutorial covers 
all the basics, from choosing a nursery to 
using natural pesticides. The disc adeptly 
combines text, photos, and videos to illus¬ 
trate important concepts and techniques. 
Critical definitions and diagrams appear 
unobtrusively over the text to help you bet¬ 
ter understand the material. 

Encyclopedia entries feature essential informa¬ 
tion about each flower or plant. 

Don't know exactly what you want to 
plant? Search the encyclopedia by attribut¬ 
es such as sunlight requirements, color, 
and blooming season. The title even pro¬ 
nounces the plants' botanical names for 
you. Collect images of plants you like in a 
virtual floral photo album, and print out a 
shopping list to take to the nursery. 

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, 
the Gardening Encyclopedia's detailed 
information and beautiful images will make 
you feel like a backyard botanist And the 
goat will like the box. (Books That Work; 
800-242-4546; street price $30) 

-Bill Meyer 

Platform: Win CD, Mac CD 

Platform: Win/Audio CD 
Rating: * + + + 

LaserLight Digital CD-ROM’s virtual concert 
hall enhances classical music with text and 
the musical score. 


Platform: Mac CD 



shotgun. Careful- 
one of the gunfighters 
that protects the four 
outlaws is a world record 

holder in fast 
draw competition. 

The pursuit of each outlaw 

will take you through different shootout scenarios and challenges. Plus, 
the order in which you stalk each outlaw will change the play action 
responses and difficulty level making for a different game each time 
you play! 

INFORMATION 505-880-1718 • FAX 505-837-5450 

American Laser Games, Inc. • 4801 Lincoln Road NE • Albuquerque,NM 87109 

you will be 
equipped with 
a six-shooter 
and sometimes a 

Play The Last Bounty Hunter with the GAMEGUN™on your 486 IBM 
compatible computer or on the 3D0™ game system. 

Receive free Crime Patrol™ CD-ROM with purchase of PC GAMEGUN™. 

For Parents Only 

Back to School 

The end of summer means only one thing to 
kids: the start of another school year. It’s a time 
of anxiety and anticipation—and maybe just a lit¬ 
tle bit of longing for a few more sun-filled, home- 
work-free days. If your kids need a little encour¬ 
agement to motivate them for the first day of 
school, any of a host of new educational titles 
should do the trick. 

While big brother and sister scamper off to school, preschoolers can 

What makes using Homework Helper different from dialing into 
a library to do research is that you can ask it regular questions, such 
as “Where's the oldest gold mine?”, not just search on specific top¬ 
ics. You can search any word in any article with a single mouse 
click; your search results are prioritized to give you the best possi¬ 
ble matches to your question. (For more on Homework Helper, see 
“Cyberspace Just for Kids," May 1995, page 36.) (Infonautics; 610- 
971-8840; not yet priced for the Internet) 

High school term papers can quickly turn students’ thoughts to 
college. Good scores on the SAT (Standardized Academic Test) 
and ACT (American College Test) will help them get into their 
choice of schools, so a little preparation is wise. Zeleos's Team 
SAT takes the personal approach by letting kids choose from eight 
video guides who lead them through the program and provide test¬ 
taking techniques and strategies. (Zeleos; 800-345-6777; 
Win/Mac CD, $29.95) 

For a more customized approach, try Davidson's Your Personal 
Trainer for the SAT and Your Personal Trainer for the ACT. 
Each sets up a study course for your high schooler, based on how 
well he or she does on a practice test (Davidson & Associates; 
800-545-7677; Win/Mac CD, $40) Finally, Swfte’s upcoming 

Make the Grade 

School-age kids can brush up on the basics with 
Sanctuary Woods' Math Ace Grand Prix and 
Word City Grand Prix. These updated versions 
of the company’s popular titles blend learning 
with an arcade-style driving game. Players solve 
math and language problems to earn sections of 
a racetrack; when the track's complete, they 
enter the Grand Prix. In Math Ace, kids ages 8 to 
14 choose the topics they'd like to practice- 
from addition and subtraction up to prealgebra 
and geometry. Likewise, Word City lets kids 
ages 7 to 14 choose to work on reading com¬ 
prehension, spelling, and vocabulary. Reading 
Ace will also help kids with those dreaded weekly spelling tests by 
letting them enter their own words, then drilling them on the cus¬ 
tomized list CD-ROM versions of the programs will be available in 
August. (Sanctuary Woods; 415-286-6000; Windows/Mac, 
Win/Mac CD; $39.95 each) 

For a little break from all that reading and math, kids can try 
MECC’s TesselMania! The creativity program introduces kids age 
8 and older to the geometric world of tessellation patterns—inter¬ 
locking images like those created by artist M.C. Escher. Young 
artists design and decorate their own patterns, then show them off 
on posters, calendars, and even T-shirts. The kids will think it's all 
fun and games, but they'll also be learning about transformational 
geometry. Look for TesselMania in October. (MECC; 800-685- 
6322; Win/Mac CD, $40) 

High Marks 

For high school students, back to school means back to term 
papers. Older children may have already gotten a taste of the 
Internet's vast resources, but now they can put this resource to 
work with a subscription to Infonautics' Homework Helper. 
Previously available only through Prodigy, the huge collection of 
databases-from encyclopedias and reference works to transcripts 
and photo libraries—debuts on the Internet this fall. 


Underground SAT CD-ROM Handbook takes a more 
radical approach. Based upon the Workman Publishing 
book Up Your Score, which was written by high school stu¬ 
dents with perfect and near-perfect scores, this title provides 
a no-nonsense guide to outsmarting the test-makers of the 
SAT. Look for it in August. (Swfte; 302-234-1740; Win/Mac 
CD, $49.95) 

Preparing for a grueling test is no fun, but going to college 
certainly can be. And a pair of discs can help students choose 
the right school. Kaplan—the test-prep company-offers the low- 
down on some 1,700 schools in On Campus 96. (Kaplan 
Interactive; 212-752-1840; Win CD/Mac CD, $49.95) Alternately, 
consult Lovejoy's College Counselor, which profiles some 1,600 
four-year colleges across the country. (Intermedia Interactive 
Software; 800-545-7677; Win CD, $39.95) 

Early Achievers 

Even if your kids aren't ready for school, they don't have to miss out 
on computer learning. You can help little ones get ready 
with Knowledge Adventure's JumpStart Kindergarten 
for ages 4 to 6. The mix of activities teaches basic pre- 
reading, vocabulary, and math, and the title’s five fun 
songs are sure to get and keep the tykes' attention. 
(Knowledge Adventure; 818-542-4200; Win CD, $35) 

To introduce younger kids to reading on the computer, 
check out Apple Home Learning’s school-tested 
WiggleWorks system. The newest offering for the home is 
WiggleWorks Story Pack 2 for ages 3 to 8. The disc con¬ 
tains three stories that children can listen to and read-kids 
can even record their voices if the computer has a micro¬ 
phone. WiggleWorks also suggests activities for kids and 
parents based on the disc's stories. (Apple Home Learning; 
800-542-4240; Win CD/Mac CD, $51.60) 

For more reading fun, turn to Muppets Reading and Phonics 
II. Jim Henson’s lovable critters—including Kermit, Miss Piggy, 
and Fozzie Bear—help kids learn reading skills in the title’s three 
sections: Sorting and Ordering, Thinking Skills, and Sound 
Patterns. (American Education Publishing; 800-542-7833; 
Win/Mac CD, $49.99) 

All in the Family 

Finally, some titles are perfect for the whole family. Microsoft 
Bookshelf '95 includes a dictionary, almanac, thesaurus, en¬ 
cyclopedia, quotation dictionary, zip code/ 
post office directory, and history book-all on 
a single CD-ROM. (Microsoft; 800-426- 
9400; Win CD, $69.95) 

And because the new school year brings 
new activities, dates, and events to schedule, 

Individual Software's Peanuts Family Or¬ 
ganizer uses appearances by Charlie Brown 
and the rest of the Peanuts gang to spice up 
its calendar, to-do list, address book, and mes¬ 
sage center. (Individual Software; 510-734- 
6767; Windows/Mac, $19.95) 

-Christine Grech 

High schoolers 
an Prepare for 

ream SAT 

SAT is the guerrilla 
miide to the big test. 

Keep track of new 

schedules with the 

Peanuts Family 


For Parents Only 


gearing up 



upcoming In¬ 
telligent Fun & 
Games series, 

an 18th-century Iroquois Indian 

-- -- . named Little Bear. (Viacom New 

toms and cultures of various peoples. Look for this p^ ack ’ and this time players h Media; 800-469-2539; Win/Mac 

Windows and Mac CD-ROM next spring. (Wander- ’ utt save •he 200. 6 P CD, $49.95) 

lust Interactive; 212-966-8887; Win/Mac CD, not yet priced) 

Peter Rabbit is another familiar critter making his way onto Updated Classics 

CD-ROM in Mindscape’s upcoming The Adventures of Peter The same fairy tales that you loved as a kid are sure to enchant 

Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, due out in time for the holidays, your little ones. TerraGlyph’s upcoming Hansel & Gretel and 

The interactive storybook includes the text of two Original Peter the Enchanted Castle and Rumpelstiltskin’s Labyrinth of 

Rabbit books, along with beautiful animated drawings in the the Lost are updated versions of classic tales featuring cartoon- 

style of the original works. Kids can follow along with the tale or quality animation and lots of original music. Look for both titles 

enter Explore mode and wander through Mr. McGregor’s garden this fall. (TerraGlyph Interactive Studios; 708-781 -4100; Win CD, 

or anywhere else in Peter’s world. (Mindscape; 415-883-3000; $49.95 each) 

Win CD/ Mac CD, not yet priced) Not quite as old but fast becoming a classic, lovable car char¬ 

acter Putt-Putt merges into his third computer adventure, Putt 
Putt Saves the Zoo. This time around, Putt Putt must round up 
Disney made a splash with its Lion King storybook. The company the missing baby animals so that the zoo can open on time. Look 
is again applying its magic in Disney’s Animated StoryBook: for it in August. (Humongous Entertainment; 206-486-9258; Win 
Pocahontas. The movie debuted in Central Park last spring, but CD/Mac CD, $39.95) 

the interactive storybook for ages 3 to 9 won’t be available until Saving the virtual animals is also the name of the game in 

November. Kids will experience the famous love story of the LucasArts Entertainment’s first children’s title, Mortimer and the 

Native American woman and British soldier Captain John Smith, Riddles of the Medallion. This 3-D adventure game for ages 4 to 
as well as play games and learn songs. (Disney Interactive; 800- 9 stars a giant flying snail named Mortimer who takes kids on a 

688-1520; Win CD/Mac CD, street price $40) global adventure in which they must save the world’s animals from 

Another movie-inspired CD-ROM that will acquaint kids with turning into statues. Along the way, kids get to guide Mortimer and 
Native American culture is Viacom New Media’s The Indian in learn all sorts of fun animal facts. Mortimer will land on store 
the Cupboard, scheduled to arrive in October. Like the film and shelves early next year. (LucasArts Entertainment; 800-782-7927; 
the book on which it is based, children ages 6 and up can bring Win CD/Mac CD, not yet priced) -Christine Grech 


Sneak Preview 


Sofia Says spend your money 

Sofia Says get'oh your 

knees and bark like a dog 

Now gi 

Sofia a kiss. 

Sofia Says give the money to your 
local video game store and do it now. 

She didn't say Sofia Say.. Now she has to hurt you. 

a Sony®Play Station™ 

The Player 

Christopher Lindquist 


My name is Chris Lindquist, and I cheat a 
computer games. 

I admit it: I’ve never liked the endless frustration that some 
games dish out. Besides, more than a few games are so lame that 
it’s more fun to muck around in their innards with the Norton 
Utilities sector editor than it is to play them. 

[Warning: Electronic Entertainment has determined that muck¬ 
ing around with sector editors can be hazardous to your comput¬ 
er. We do not advocate such techniques for enhancing your gam- 

Gheating at computer Jeez, the lawyers 

are everywhere these 
days, aren’t they? 
Where was I.. .ah, yes. 

In college, my 
friends and I would 
spend countless hours 
finding new ways to 
whatever else 1 

games is about as close 
to playing God as any of 
us is likely to get. 

add lives, money, hit points, 
figured would allow us to dominatf 
game. This tinkering was a form of 
recreation in itself. Does that 
mean we were bad peopk 
I think not. 

thing like this: 

1. People play games to have 

2. Being repeatedly humiliated by 
a game because your reflexes ; 
those of a fit 18-year-old or because 
you’re tired of playing “guess what the 
programmer was smoking when he c 
up with this puzzle” is not fun. 

3. Playing God is fun. 

4. Cheating at games is about as close I 
playing God as any of us is likely to get. 

I know, I know. The anticheaters have all i 
of arguments of their own. 

“Playing all the way through a game gives you t 
of accomplishment.” Thank you, but I get my feelings of 
accomplishment from challenges a bit more serious 
puter games. 

“Cheating just shows that you don’t have the 
smarts/guts/reflexes to win legitimately.” Or perhaps it just 

demonstrates that the game is simply too difficult/boring/confusing 
for me to bother with. Or maybe I just don’t have the time. 

“Cheating takes all the fun out of a game.” Yeah, right. Tell 
that to anyone who’s had the thrill of watching a spider demon 
explode two feet in front of him while he laughed with maniacal 
glee. Besides, if some schmucks want to spend $50 on a game only 
to jump straight to the end without playing through, let ’em. It’s 
their money. 

“Cheating at anything is simply wrong.” Give me a break. 
We’re not talking about plagiarizing a Stanford master’s thesis 
here. We’re talking about a computer game. 

Now, I don’t cheat all the time. Heck, I actually cheat very little 
considering how much time I spend playing games. I finished 
Doom and Dark Forces without resorting to the passcodes. 
However, both those games are perfect examples of where cheats 
can be loads of fun: Sometimes, after a long day at the office, you 
just want to kill things. 

Until recently, game cheating was mostly the realm of hackers 
who could read hexadecimal notation, or those of us so serious 
about it that we indulged in shareware and small-company 
commercial game-cheater programs. And there have 
always been a few computer game makers, such 
as id Software, that were inclined to build 
in—and eventually release to the public—a 
variety of cool cheats. 

Now memory maven Quarterdeck has 
entered the fray with its GameRunner 
utilities, which include AXIS-The Game- 
cheater (call Quarterdeck at 800-354-2834 
for more information). The difference is 
that Quarterdeck—which made its rep 
with memory management programs 
like QEMM—may just have the clout 
to get some of the “we don’t condone 
cheating” game companies to lighten 
up a bit. 

Many of them probably will, too. 
The almighty dollar will dictate it. 
Cheats and passcodes have long 
increased the shelf life and cool fac- 
:or of console and arcade games. 
The same thing will happen with 
computer titles. Cheats will no 
longer be toys just for the in-crowd. 
They’ll be built-in and advertised— 
a selling feature. ^ 


It’s the later part of the 1930’s and the small European monarch of 
Karanthia stands on the brink of civil war. Gigantic airships, launching and re¬ 
covering their own warplanes, dominate the skies. There is no safe haven from their 
assault on your weakened and ravaged homeland. In the midst of this anarchy, you 
attempt to claim the throne by extracting a pledge of alliance from the uncooperative 
leaders of each community in Karanthia. Negotiation or annihilation is your battle cry. 


Air Power: Battle in the Skies incorporates the best 
elements of flight sims, air combat, military strategy 
and role-playing in this violent fictional world. And, you’ll 
find stunning 3D graphics and digitized sound effects 
enhance the high-resolution, fast-frame gameplay. So load 
up your airborne armada and set your sights on claiming 
the throne. 


Christine Grech 

igital Road Trip 

B y the time I get to Phoenix...I’ll have driven 
1,046 miles, spent 17 hours and 17 minutes in 
the car, and plunked down $40.50 for gasoline. 

That may not have been what country crooner Glen Campbell 
had in mind when he sang the original tune, but that’s what my 
computer travel planner tells me. 

You see, the Multimaniac has been feeling a little antsy lately. 
Could be a case of too much time spent at the keyboard. So, with 
fall looming on the horizon, I’ve decided to give the 
don thing a try. Think 1 
go for a nice, long drive 
courtesy of my PC. 

an essential part of any 
modern multimedia li¬ 
brary. Digital travelers can 
choose from such products 
as AAA Trip Planner from 
Compton’s NewMedia, 

Rand McNally’s TripMak- 
er, and DeLorme’s Map ’n’ 

Go, which serve as com¬ 
panions to their compa¬ 
nies’ road adases. They cal¬ 
culate routes, provide directions, and suggest attractions along the 
way. There’s also the budget-priced Expert Travel Planner Win CD, 
which does essentially the same thing, but the route planning and 
attraction portions 

Voila! Detailed directions <“ ** as r u r 

taking me from the 
City by the Bay to the 
Valley of the Sun. 

Each of these 
programs can help 
you get where 
you’re going, but 
the Multimaniac 
st offering: 

always rides the cutting edge, so I turned I 
Microsoft Automap Road Atlas 4.0. 

I decided to head right for the sun. Destination: Phoenix, with a 
stop along the way at the Grand Canyon. 

I fired up Automap and took the easy road, so to speak, by start¬ 
ing with the Route Wizard, a feature that walked me through plan¬ 
ning a trip in eight quick steps. I typed in the vitals: starting point, 
destination, and stopping points. I was surprised to learn that there 

are 14 U.S. cities named Phoenix, but I stuck with my original plan 
to visit Arizona. Next, I asked the Route Wizard to tell me about 
attractions and parks close to my route. Then I typed in how many 
hours a day I’d be driving, what kind of gas mileage my car gets, 
and how fast I’ll be going on various types of roads. Finally, I opted 
for the shortest pos¬ 
sible route. 

Voila! Detailed 
directions taking me 
from the City by the 
Bay to the Valley of 
the Sun, with an 
approximate time 
schedule for each 
day, including when 
I need to stop and 
refuel. Whenever an 
interesting sight is in 
range, it’s listed in 
blue in the itinerary, with directions on how 
to get there. Mostly you get standard tourist 
attractions like state parks and zoos, but I 
also uncovered such gems as Rawhide 
Western Town and Island of Big Surf, a water 
park in Tempe, Arizona, that has artificial 
waves on which you can surf. Cool, dude. 

What makes Automap better than a regular atlas is that you 
don’t have to decipher the map’s tangle of highways and byways. 
Automap’s directions are in plain English: “bear left on 140.” 

Automap also provides maps that trace your route and are dot¬ 
ted with icons for various points of interest. That may sound like a 
good idea, but it’s not. The route map is so cluttered with tiny 
camera icons (indicating a picture of the site), little tickets (for 
attractions), and the like that you can’t even discern roads and 
place names. Sure, you can turn off the various icons and lessen 
the map detail, but it’s still not very useful. And when you click 
anywhere on the map, place names and interstate highway sym¬ 
bols pop up, further obscuring the map—and each other. 
Watching these maps redraw the layers and layers of icons is 
enough to make the Multimaniac stay home. 

Automap—like the other travel-planning programs—is great 
for generating quick, reliable directions. But it isn’t that helpful for 
planning a unique trip filled with exciting stops. You’re better off 
thumbing through a good travel book or popping into an online 
travel forum and getting advice from others who have been there. 
Bon voyage! (Microsoft; 800426-9400; Win CD, $39.95) % 


• 2 additional battlesets, for 30 new, 
startlingly realistic scenarios. 

• All-new Scenario Editor. You 
design the encounter. 

• Over 100 full-motion video and 
sound clips for unbelievable 

• Detect, track and engage all forces. 

• Realistic weather modeling. 

• Military-style vector maps. 

• Vast database with tech specs and 
pictures of hundreds of ships, subs 
and aircraft. 

communications A-jE9hk\ 
models recreate 

electronic warfare. | J 

Westpac Battle Sets. 

Add an incredible array of features 
like toolbar control buttons, easy 
user interface, and you have the 
most realistic battle game ever. 

^!< 1 < < < € 

Imagine driving the wrong way in rush hour traffic, before 

catching enough air to make a seagull blush. Is it the L.A. 

freeways? No, it’s the Sony" PlayStation." Introducing 

Namco's Ridge Racer. Gut-wrenching first-person views. 

five different courses and 200+ 

the PlayStation provides racing so realistic you’ll need 

ihorts for skidmarks. Oi 

Look for Ridge Rat 

Mortal Kombat 1 ’ 3 on the PlayStation before Christmas. 

between feature films 

and computer games. 
Here’s what to expect. 

He dashes forward off the top of a 
20-foot comice and lands without a 
wobble. A branch stirs in the distance 
and he switches on his DNA verification 
tracker helmet. Suddenly a slew of 
armed snowbohrders emerge from the 
trees. With the accuracy of a trained 
killer, he turns and shoots two, sending 
them headlong into a gorge below. 
Quickly, he activates two rockets on his 
jet-powered skis... 

Is it a classic scene from a movie like 
The Spy Who Loved Me ? No. It’s just a 
typical scenario from Fox Hunt, 
Capcom’s upcoming full-motion video 
computer game, or “interactive movie,” 
as they are sometimes called. 

It sounds exciting, but are these high- 
tech flicks worth your money and time? 
Admission costs from $50 to $100, along 
with an investment of many hours. 

You’ll have to put up with video that’s 
less than TV-quality, because a variety of 
technical constraints can cause the video 
to be dark, muddy, and subject to blips, 
delays, and jerky motion. Just as impor¬ 
tant, integrating live-action video clips in 
adventure games or space simulations can 

seriously compromise game play. If you’re 
looking for full control, lots of diverse 
puzzles, and immediate action, you may 
be disappointed with video-based games. 

Nonetheless, as such big-time PC mak¬ 
ers as Compaq begin to include video¬ 
acceleration technology in their standard 
multimedia systems, you can bet that even 
more game makers will break out their 
director’s chairs and start shooting. 

Indeed, more than two dozen new full- 
motion-video computer games will be on 
store shelves this fall and early next year. 
You’ll also see a slew of action games that 
include non-interactive video clips from 
feature films, such as Acclaim’s Judge 
Dredd and Batman Forever. Finally, look 
for a few video-based games released in 
conjunction with a movie. These may use 
original footage, a la Sony Computer 
Entertainment’s Johnny Mnemonic. 

We look at this interactive-cinema 
rage and tell you about the newest con¬ 
tenders coming soon to a computer 
near you. 

The Golden Age 

Interactive movie is a rather presumptu¬ 
ous tide for a medium bom in 1991 when 
Access Software introduced The Martian 
Memorandum, the first game to include 
digitized video of live actors. But it wasn’t 

until 1993 that a company—Ironically 
located in sleepy Medford, Oregon, light 
years from Hollywood or Silicon Valley- 
developed the game that lit fire to the live- 
action-video fuse. Trilobyte’s The 7th 
Guest sold more than a million units, if 
you include copies bundled with multime¬ 
dia PCs and upgrade kits. 

The success of The 7th Guest—with 
its mix of human actors, horror-movie 
storyline, and puzzles—was a watershed. 
It led to mountains of multimedia hype, 
hordes of pretentious cocktail parties, 
and precocious dreams of “Siliwood”— 
the much-anticipated marriage of 
Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Now that 
games seemed more like television and 
movies, such Goliath entertainment com¬ 
panies as MGM, Fox, and Viacom 
jumped into the fray, dreaming that soft¬ 
ware had hit the big time and would 
soon be a mass-market phenomenon. 

In no time, a flood of me-too efforts 
followed The 7th Guest to the party. 

Such first-generation interactive movies 
as Critical Path from Mechadeus and 
Hyperbole’s Quantum Gate used a video 
technique called chroma-key (see Code 
Blue) that incorporated real actors, but 
didn’t defiver compelling game play. 

By Bill Meyer 




'lH 1 tyW&m 

l kx 3 

f -£ Afck»j 


A Fork in the Road 

Now a days game developers are taking 
varying approaches to integrating video in 
their products. A few gutsy developers have 
taken an “all or nothing” approach that 
relies on the video to drive both story and 
game play. In games such as Johnny 
Mnemonic, players interact directly with the 
video by talking to characters or directing 
action. These games tend to be heavy on pro¬ 
duction values, but light on game play. 

Other game makers have used video pri¬ 
marily to propel the game’s storyline. These 
games, such as The 7th Guest or Wing 
Commander HI, run video as a series of cut 
scenes linking more-traditional game-play 

segments. The 
challenge here is 

movie and game 

ing experience. 

No one knows 
which approach 
will win players. 

“I think the 
cept [of cinematic 
games] is a good one, but it has not yet been 
determined how to use it,” says Roberta Wil¬ 
liams, co-founder of Sierra On-Line. “It’s a 
concept that needs molding and massaging.” 

Williams foresees an evolutionary process 
involving the trial and error of many devel¬ 
opers. For her, as for most game makers, the 
big question is how to successfully mix inter¬ 
activity with cinematic elements. But 
Williams says that expanding the movie por¬ 
tion is not the answer. 

Instead, she envisions 
interactive movies as 
glorified adventure 
games, with quick and 
effective cinematic ele¬ 
ments leading to more 
interactivity and game 
play. “Movies are 
movies, and that’s fine,” 

Williams asserts, “but 
people want to do.” 

Other developers 
hold out more hope of 
marrying interactivity 
to the video experience. 

Digital Pictures was one 
of the first companies 
to take the all-video 
leap—eliminating ani¬ 
mated game-play altogether. Unfortunately, 
such early Digital Pictures titles as the 
adventure shooter Corpse Killer, starring 
Vincent Schiavelli, were marred by poor- 

quality video and 
game play. 

Digital Pictures’ 
newest crop of ti¬ 
tles, including Max¬ 
imum Surge, use the 
company’s propri¬ 
etary software- 
based video decom¬ 
pression technology 
called DigiChrome to produce surprisingly 
crisp full-motion, full-screen video. You join 
Bay watch regular Yasmine Bleeth to hunt 
down the evil Drexel (Walter Koenig, 
Chekov in the original Star Trek), who is 
attempting to control various power stations 
and repopulate a territory with androids. 

(Speaking of Baywatch beauties, Erika 
Eleniak stars in Imagination Pilots 
Entertainment’s Panic in the Park, a game 

that mixes a video 
adventure with ar¬ 
cade-style gaming. 
And Pamela Anderson is appearing in Dark 
Horse Interactive’s upcoming Barb Wire. 
Based on the Dark Horse comic book hero¬ 
ine, Barb Wire is also an upcoming big- 

Sierra On-Line’s Phantasmagoria spices up the 
adventure game format with great art and video. 

Maximum Surge also uses a second video 
technology called InstaSwitch to continuous¬ 
ly composite four planes of video—a back¬ 
ground, target, and two objects in the fore¬ 
ground—on top of each other in real time. 
The purpose is to give the player greater 
movement control and variety. For instance, 
you will be able to jump behind various 
obstacles and peek out from behind them in 
multiple directions. “Instead of coming at it 
like a movie, we decided to design a good 


action game that looks like a movie,” says 
director of marketing Kevin Welsh. “Game- 
play control was the number one item on 
our agenda.” 

Window of Opportunity 

Capcom, a new player in the PC CD-ROM 
market, is also shooting for a seamless blend 
of movie and game. Its new Fox Hunt spoofs 
the James Bond genre, using a game engine 
based on the one Peter Marx originally 
designed for Johnny Mnemonic. 

This engine allows players to interact with 
the movie without stopping the 
action. At certain “windows of 
opportunity,” you can press a key 
to direct the action. No icons, dia¬ 
logue menus, or abstract geometric 
puzzles clutter the screen. 

Marx and producer Adam 
Bums share a cinematic vision for 
Fox Hunt. Bums thinks early full- 
motion video games were more 
about technology than character and story. 
“[The games] didn’t come from a filmmak¬ 
er’s point of view,” Bums argues. Fox Hunt 
will be different, he says: “We could have 
edited it into a feature film.” 

Just like a movie, Fox Hunt is structured 
in three acts, shot on 16mm film instead of 
video for better resolution, and filmed on real 
sets. Fox Hunt stars such seasoned actors as 
former Bond George Lazenby and Timothy 
Bottoms (The Last Picture Show), as well as 
newcomer Andrew Bowen as the game’s 
unlikely hero. 

But while Bums believes the game’s cine¬ 
matic element is critical, he rejects the label of 
“interactive movie.” “[Fox Hunt] has the 
look, feel, and structure of a feature film, but 
it is not an interactive movie—it’s a game,” 
he says. “I think the fundamental problem 
with most full-motion-video games is that 
they don’t have good game play.” 

To remedy that situation, Fox Hunt’s 
windows of opportunity will let you ski, sky¬ 
dive, and shoot. And the game will offer 
multiple paths, bad guys, and endings. You 
can even wear the black hat. 

Marx claims the new game will go far 
beyond Johnny Mnemonic’s limited action 
and choppy movement. “We need that com¬ 
pelling time component,” he says. “We need 
to have the story moving along so you don’t 
leave the cinematic experience—it’s a motion 
picture that doesn’t stop moving.” 

Electronic Arts is shooting for a slightly 

Prtmind stars actual members of the bump in the night after you 

UOming SFPD. It’s due in the fall, move into the house of a 

AttP3CtlOnS (Grolier Electronic Publishing; deceased eccentric magician. 

800-285-4534; Win CD/Mac On shelves now, this adven- 
f^ozens of full-motion- CD, $49.95) ture game is the first cine- 

magoria engine. (Sierra On- 
Line; 800-853-7788; Phan¬ 
tasmagoria, Win CD, $69.95) 


Legend Entertainment’s Mission Critical stars Michael 
Dom from Star Trek: The Next Generation. 


different union of film and 
game in Psychic Detective. 

Assistant producer Ric Neil 
says, “We went for the movie 
experience.” He’s right: If you 
feed all three discs to your 
computer, the whole story will 
play right through to its con¬ 
clusion. (In fact, you just might 
want to watch it once before 
you play. This twisted murder 
mystery is sort of like Clue on 
LSD, and you may need help 
figuring out how to make psychic/enter¬ 
tainer Eric Fox jump into other charac¬ 
ters’ minds to solve a string of ghoulish 

Neil says Psychic Detective uses ground¬ 
breaking video techniques to let it instantly 
switch videos and character perspectives. 
While Neil avoids calling Psychic Detective 
an interactive movie, he says it does come 
closer to this vision than previous titles: 
“It’s not a flight sim with movie clips,” he 
boasts. Indeed, apart from a traditional puz¬ 
zle element at the end of the game, the 

entire experience is propelled by the player 
directing the psychic to jump from one 
character to another. 

Game Show 

Only time will establish the formula for suc¬ 
cessful video-based computer games. Is it 
great game play with a sprinkling of cinema, 
or a terrific movie with some cleverly embed¬ 
ded game play? For now, most developers— 
even those like Fox Hunt’s Adam Burns— 
agree that game play must come first. 

So if you’re a gamer who likes tradition¬ 

al game play, look to the adventure and 
flight sim games that use video to intro¬ 
duce the plot, develop the characters, and 
heighten the game’s sense of realism. These 
games—the Wing Commander series, The 
Pandora Directive and The 11th Hour, the 
sequel to The 7th Guest—offer real puzzle 
play or in-flight action, dressed up nicely in 
cinematic trappings. If you are more of a 
movie fan who wants something new, 
games like Psychic Detective and Fox Hunt 
are for you. 

In the long run, though, full-motion- 
video games must create their own identity. 
As game designers discover the technologi¬ 
cal and artistic approaches best suited for 
immersing people in their interactive sto¬ 
ries, games will no longer imitate movies. 

Sierra’s Williams puts it this way: “A 
new form of cinematic technique is going 
to evolve just for computer games.” When 
that happens, instead of scrambling to live 
up to confusing labels like interactive 
movies, computer games that happen to use 
video will stand on their own as what they 
are: games. ^ 

January 1994 

Premiere Issue 


November 1994 

Star Trek (includes free CD-ROM)* 


February 1994 




December 1994 

Doom Killer (includes free CD-ROM)* 


Afc March 1994 

Rock ’n’ Roll 


January 1995 

Jet Envy (includes free CD-ROM)* 


April 1994 

Multimedia Party 



February 1995 

MTV’S Club Dead (includes free CD-ROM)* 


May 1994 

Digital Escapes 



March 1995 

Editor’s Choice Awards 


June 1994 

Discover the Future of Multimedia 


April 1995 

50 Games on the Drawing Board for ’95! $5.95 

July 1994 

Multimedia To The Max 



May 1995 

(includes fra CMOM)** 

The Greatest Multiplayer Games 


August 1994 

<40 September 1994 


Power Play 




June 1995 

July 1995 

Preview: Advanced Gaming Systems 

(includes free CD-ROM)" 

Full Throttle** 



October 1994 

Dark Forces 


August 1995 

Sex and CD-ROMs ondudestecoaoM)** 


1 - 800 - 360-2228 

Shipping and handling: $4.00 for US, $6.50 for 
Canada, $12.00 outside the US. 

(Add $2.00 for each additional issue, $3.00 out¬ 
side of the US) Allow 2 to 4 weeks for delivery. 



le that you’re a planet in a nice, quiet solar 
1 , just orbiting away, minding your own 
fisiness. Suddenly, the sun explodes. Miracu- 
lisly, you survive, but things will never be the 
le again. You’re part of that sun now, and the 
|ce-mild climate is scorching. And just as you 
o the heat, you look up to find a huge 
Steroid hurtling straight toward you. That’s 
| it’s like to be an online service in 1995. 

Just a year or two ago, the online world was simple— 
and kind of sleepy. CompuServe led the pack, Prodigy had 
lots of subscribers (and lots of ugly ads to annoy them), 
and America Online (AOL), Delphi, and GEnie plugged 
away at their own mildly popular niches. 

Today, everything is different: Millions of new users 
have hopped onto the online services, enticed more than 
anything by the promise of fun—celebrity chats, hobby 
forums, and pen pals. AOL led the n.. n n __| J 
charge with a year of explosive growth. D J U 0II d 10 

Apple weighed in with its eWorld service, only to find out 
that online life wasn’t going to be easy. And all of the ser¬ 
vices heard the footsteps of the stampede toward the 
Internet. Now, they’re looking over their shoulders at 
Microsoft’s promise to include its Microsoft Network in 
every copy of the Windows 95 operating system. 

It all adds up to a radically changed landscape since 
February of last year, when Electronic Entertainment did 
an entertainment overview of the major online services 
(“Calling All Games,” February 1994, page 72). But the 
turmoil is good news for online surfers. In a frantic attempt 
to court customers in this newly competitive environment, 
all of the services have added a deluge of entertainment con¬ 
tent. They’ve scrambled to include access to the Internet, 
and especially the World Wide Web. Best of all, they’ve had 
to cut prices and increase access speeds to survive. 

Things are still heating up, of course, but you won’t get t 
burned if you jump in now. To make it easier, we’ll tell | 
you what you’ll find out in cyberspace right now: Which J 
services make it easy to join, and which make it hard. I 
What each service does well and where it falls down. And | 
Qj. i l where to find the fun stuff—no matter 1 
Uli uOnn where you log on. 



The Big Three 

America Online 

n OL is still pinching itself to make sure 
it didn’t just dream its way through 
1994 and early 1995. The online ser¬ 
vice claimed 1.5 million subscribers on 
Christmas Day last year; a month later, it 

had added a phenomenal 7SO,000 more. 
And the momentum is accelerating—as all 
your friends jump on the AOL bandwag¬ 

on, you just might want to join them. 

Unfortunately, AOL’s phenomenal 
growth hasn’t been without attendant prob¬ 
lems. Increased congestion means that at 
times, subscribers are almost as likely to see 
the dreaded “For some reason, the host has 
failed to respond” message as they are the 
system greeting. AOL can get insanely 
crowded at peak times, badly overloading its 
service desk. And AOL users 
may still find themselves pari¬ 
ahs on the Internet. (AOL 
members quickly gained a rep¬ 
utation for ignoring Internet 
“netiquette”; in many news- 
groups, any message posted 
from an address that ends in is now marked as 
instant flame-bait.) And as 
AOL users swarm onto the 
World Wide Web with the ser¬ 
vice’s new browser, you can 
expect significant performance 
slowdowns during peak usage hours. The 
company’s new ’Net-only service, built on its 
May purchase of Global Network Navigator 


(GNN), will also draw people to the Web. 

Nevertheless, AOL is still the place to be. 
Content providers have scrambled to get on 
the service, which means that you’ll find a 
host of cool stuff there. Magazine readers can 
enjoy online efforts from Entertainment 
Weekly, Time, Spin, and many more, while 
TV watchers can interact with NBC, ABC, 
MTV, and Comedy Central. Gossip hounds 
can get the daily dish from Geraldo Rivera 
and Ricki Lake; Keyword to their names. 
AOL’s music resources are also focused and 
full. Look for them under the MusicSpace 
(Keyword: MusicSpace) bulletin board. 

Gamewise, AOL has added a lot of game- 
developer forums (Gametek, TSR, LucasArts, 
Broderbund, and others; Keyword to the 
company name). AOL also has specific 
forums for gamers—role-players, online 
gamers, and strategy fans will all find areas 
particular to their interests. 

„ GETTING ON: + * + + * 


Com puServe 

T he CompuServe Information Service 
(CIS) has been No. 1 in the online 
game since the early 1980s, and the 
company doesn’t plan to tinker too heavily 
with its winning formula. Broad yet deep 
content; unparalleled international access; a 
reasonably good graphical interface that 
CompuServe plans to improve even further; 
plus a reliable network and efficient service 
all help keep CompuServe—which still leads 
the subscriber pack with more than 3 million 
users—among the serious online players. 

One area in which CI$ (as it’s often called 
by online habitues) hasn’t tried to compete, 
however, is pricing. CompuServe still charges 
for incoming Internet e-mail, although it’s cut 
those prices somewhat. And while it’s added 
many more areas to its unlimited access 
“basic services,” many popular CompuServe 
forums remain “extended services,” and still 
charge you by the minute for time spent 
there. CompuServe’s Internet pricing, while 
competitive, tacks on its $2.50/hour charge 
after just three hours, as opposed to five 

hours on AOL 
and Prodigy. 

With the addition 
of a World Wide 
Web browser this 
past April, that 
could all add up 
to big charges for 
CompuServe Web 
surfers. (CIS does 
offer a plan for 

chart on page 51). 

On the content side, CompuServe 
finally begun paying more serious attention 
to the gaming community. The service has 
added Action Games (Go action) and Video 
Games (Go video) forums, and has encour¬ 
aged developers to join its four Game De¬ 
velopers areas (Go gamapub, gambpub, 
gamcpub, and gamdpub). You’ll also find the 
latest shareware offerings in the Hot Games 
Download area (Go hotgames), as well as 
specific forums geared toward flight-sim 
enthusiasts, fantasy role-players, and modem 
gamers, among others. 

Entertainment content on 
CIS is not just limited to games. 
In fact, CompuServe has a seri¬ 
ous Tinseltown orientation, 
with Hollywood Online (Go 
flicks), the Marilyn Beck/Liz 
Smith Hollywood gossip area 
(Go beck), the popular online 
gabfest Stein Online (Go stein), 
and the Soap Opera Forum 
(Go soapforum), to name a 
few. CompuServe’s music- 
based offerings are also quite 
robust: RockNet (Go rock) functions as a 
general-purpose music forum, while about 
20 record companies lurk in the Recording 
Industry Forum (Go record). Visit the All- 
Music Database and Forum (Go allmusic), 
and you should be able to find answers to 
just about any music query you could 
dream up. 

e I smuffi l; .***-*< . 



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This isn’t just another football game. 
This time it's personal 
•SB** Join thousands of other members on the 
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Start playing today with the free INN software on 
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Surfing In Foous 

F or all the breadth of the major online services, there are still niches for smaller, more 
directed services. Two such niches are being filled by AT&T, which is testing AT&T 
Interchange, a business-oriented service that'll include The Washington Post and The 
Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Look for more offerings during its phased rollout this fall. The tele¬ 
phone giant also purchased the ImagiNation Network, one of the two premier game-oriented 
national nets, from Sierra On-Line last year. INN offers multiplayer gaming for role-players and 
flight-sim addicts (you can play Red Baron with someone 3,000 miles away), and it also has a 
kid’s area, the Little Red Funhouse. Simple installation features (game software comes on the 
disks) makes it easy to get into. (ImagiNation Network; 800-462-4461; DOS/Windows; 
$9.95/month (includes five free hours), plus $2.95/hour; extended plans available) 

MPG-Net, the other established gamers’ network, recently expanded beyond its Kingdom of 
Drakkar game. Six new games, including Empire Builder, Minion Hunter, and Operation Market 
Garden, recently came online. MPG-Net has also added a graphical front end to its text-only 
interface, and has established a save-game feature. MPG-Net will be accessible through the 
Microsoft Network starting this month. (Multi-Player Games Network; 305-296-5996; DOS, plus 
Macintosh for Kingdom of Drakkar and MUD II; $4/hour access through national communica¬ 
tions networks, $2/hour in the New York City area and over the Internet) 

A pair of other national networks are currently in beta testing. TEN (Total Entertainment 
Network) will also feature gaming, including SimCity Online, the first multiplayer version of the 
classic simulation. The network backs up its games with e-mail, an innovative graphical 
Usenet interface, and other entertainment-oriented areas. The sen/ice is planned for a fall roll 
out TEN recently strengthened its offerings by folding in Outland, an established Mac gaming 
bulletin board. (Planet Optigon; 800-867-8446; DOS/Windows; not yet priced) 

MedioNet takes a different approach. Medio, best known for multimedia discs like The JFK 
Assassination and its monthly CD-ROM magazine, will link its CD-ROMs to its service. Buttons 
on topics in Medio magazine will kick you to Usenet newsgroups through a proprietary network 
gateway. Once you connect, MedioNet will offer full Internet access. The service, now testing in 
the Seattle area, is slated to go national later this fall. Medio also plans an interactive TV com¬ 
ponent in tandem with Microsoft (Medio; 800-788-3866; Windows; not yet priced) -DSJ 


P rodigy may have changed more than any 
other service in the last 18 months. Once 
an insular (though huge), cluttered, 
dated-seeming online backwater, it today 
takes pride in calling itself “the world’s 
biggest Internet services provider.” 

Two years ago, even less, such an idea 

i an online service last February. 

would have been unthinkable, but Prodigy 
won the race among the major online ser¬ 
vices to offer graphical World Wide Web 

access. Even with many of its members con¬ 
nected with modems too slow to surf the 
Web, the service claims to have picked up 
250,000 new subscribers by getting there 
first. In May, Prodigy again beat its competi¬ 
tors to the punch when it began letting users 
mount their own personal Web pages. And, 
eventually, Prodigy plans to put all of the ser- 
vice’s content on the Web, much of it 
through Prodigy’s AstraNet home page. 

The rush to the Web has helped Prodigy 
overcome two real stigmas—ads (it was the 
first service to carry ’em) and the ugliest 
interface this side of a Marlboro billboard. 
The company’s sleek new P2 interface, due 
out by the time you read this, will make the 
ads smaller, uncouple them from Prodigy’s 
own screens, and link them to advertisers’ 
home pages on the Web. 

The new interface won’t affect Prodigy’s 
lack of game content, however. Serious 
gamers won’t find much of interest here; the 
“Galaxy of Games” offerings seem more like 
a meteorite full. (If you want to check it any¬ 
way, Jump games.) 

The wholeheartedly mainstream Prodigy 
does better in general entertainment. For TV 
viewers, Prodigy is nothing short of fabulous: 
33 different network or cable channels have 
areas, most with detailed program listings. 
And the movie, music, and theater areas all 
have active bulletin boards. Click on the 
Entertainment button in the Highlights area, 
then choose your category button from there. 


The Contender 

The Microsoft 

R eady or not, here it comes. Bill Gates’ 
crew has been tooling the Microsoft 
Network (MSN) for more than a 
year, and with the full release of Windows 
95 due on the shelves now, one-click 
Internet access is going to be right there 
with it. The concept scares the pants off 
the other services—enough that they’re 
eagerly cooperating with a potential 
antitrust probe of MSN by the U.S. Justice 

Not without good reason, either. The soft¬ 
ware giant has developed a service that looks 
great and boasts a raft of easy-to-use fea- 

The Microsoft Network has a natural 
advantage over other services—an interface 
built into Windows 95. 

tures. As long as you have Windows 95, that 
is; Mac and Windows 3.1 users are facing an 
indefinite wait to get onto MSN. 

In some respects, MSN will advance the 
state of the graphical interface art among the 
online networks. Areas designed using 
MSN’s Blackbird software tools achieve a 
graphical richness that will make other ser- 


vices drool, although most content providers 
won’t be able to deploy Blackbird-built envi¬ 
ronments until next year. The service also 
excels at instantly displayable pictures—even 
better and faster than the Netscape Web 
browser and America Online. And in a radi¬ 
cal innovation, MSN lets you create a 
Windows icon for any World Wide Web link 
and drag it into a window or onto the desk¬ 
top, then click on the icon to go directly to 
your favorite site. 

The Network’s pricing will also differ from 
the other services. AOL and CompuServe 
work on the pay-as-you-go principle, charg¬ 
ing by the minute and sharing the proceeds 
with the content provider. MSN turns that 
model on its head. It plans to charge a small 
connect fee (undetermined at press time), and 
then let content providers determine their 
own prices for entrance to particular areas. 
Microsoft will then get a share of that. 

MSN content offerings are off to a slow 
but sure start. Microsoft’s own consumer 
offerings are there, of course. Services from 
former Microsoft co-honcho Paul Allen’s 
Starwave include the popular ESPNet and 
Mr. Showbiz. Gamers will get easy access to 
the multiplayer gaming network MPG-Net 

(see “Surfing In Focus” on page 50) through 
MSN, and other early consumer offerings 
include U.S. News and World Report, the 
Seattle Times, and the Women’s Wire net¬ 
work. Microsoft also made its first raid on 
other systems in May, enticing NBC away 
from AOL and Prodigy. Look for more as 
the Network comes online. 

The Sleepers 


f or the want of a nail, Delphi’s potential 
kingdom may have been lost. Delphi 
Internet Services has some key advan¬ 
tages, including a core of committed users, 
and substantial backing from Rupert 
Murdoch’s and now MCI, plus content from 
Fox and Murdoch’s many other communica¬ 
tions holdings. Even better, it had full 
Internet access light years before everyone 
else—gopher, telnet, text-based World Wide 


Internet access 


(includes 5 free 
hours), plus 

28.8 Kbps through 
AOLnet (Keyword: 
AOLnet); 14.4 

Kbps otherwise 

e-mail, Usenet, FTP, 
gopher, World Wide 

Fully stocked, easily 
navigable service that 
probably includes 
your friends 


plus fees; 
for Internet Club 

28.8 Kbps in 
selected cities 

e-mail, Usenet, FTP, 
telnet, World Wide 


Chock-full of content, 
totally reliable, and the 
most international of 
all the services 


(includes 5 free 
hours), plus 

14.4 Kbps 

e-mail, Usenet, World 
Wide Web 

Sharper looking now, 
and the easiest way to 
access the Internet 



(includes 4 free 
hours), plus 

9600 bps 

e-mail, Usenet, FTP, 
gopher, telnet, World 
Wide Web (text-only) 

Cool entertainment 
offerings, but wait for 
a graphical interface 


(includes 4 free 
hours), plus 

9600 bps 

e-mail, Usenet, FTP, 
gopher, telnet, World 
Wide Web (text-only) 

Good for gamers, but 
in flux; wait on this 
until they figure out 
where they’re going 


(includes 4 free 
hours), plus 

14.4 Kbps 

e-mail, Usenet, FTP, 
World Wide Web 

Good Mac interface, 

Windows interface, 
Internet connections 

Web, the whole deal. Its Internet support is 
still unmatched among online services. 

What it’s never had is a graphical inter¬ 
face. And Delphi still doesn’t have one, 
which is why the Big Three have gobbled up 
new subscribers while Delphi muddles along 
with its core of 125,000 members. 

The problems aren’t from lack of trying. 
Delphi worked on a graphical interface for 
nearly two years, only to scrap it last year 
after a management shakeup. The situation 
should finally change soon: Delphi has cut a 
deal with Netscape—the current god of 
Web-browser firms—to integrate its browser 
for easy World Wide Web dial-in and access. 
And Delphi says its new graphical interface, 
slated for this year and in beta testing now, 
will be built on Internet-friendly standards. 

Once Delphi gets graphical—and even 
now—there’s no lack of fun stuff to discover. 
Start with forums devoted to two of TV’s 
most popular shows, the creepy The X-Files 
and the lurid Melrose Place. Delphi is also 
the official online site for the Rolling Stones. 
And the service competitively supports the 
gaming community. Among other things, it 
was the first place where gamers could find 
the shareware version of Descent. Counting 
Delphi out of the online game would be a 
mistake, but there’s little question that 1995 
is the year that it either changes the face it 
presents to the public or does a slow fade. 

C Enie is another service that found itself 
stuck in first gear while AOL rocketed 
forward. In 1994, the service lost more 
than half of its membership, falling from a 
high of 200,000 to the current 75,000. 

While rumors have flown that GEnie will 
take some different shape or be broken into 
market-specific pieces, the service hasn’t sat 
idle. Last April, it slashed prices and introduced 
a graphical interface. New users still need a ter¬ 
minal application such as MicroPhone or 
ZTerm to join GEnie, but it’s easy to download 
the interfaces once you’re on the service. Also, 
GEnie offers a full raft of Internet services, lack¬ 
ing only graphical Web access. The company 
says that will roll out later this year. 

GEnie doesn’t skimp on entertainment con¬ 
tent, either. It features multiplayer games such 


as Island of Kesmai, BattleTech, Stellar 
Emperor, and Orb Wars, and recently cut a 
deal with Interpay to mount a multiplayer 
version of Descent with new features. (For 
more information, see Game News, page 58) 
And GEnie’s “roundtable” forum areas are 
still robust, particularly the ones dedicated to 
music, comic books, and sci-fi/fantasy topics. 
As for GEnie’s long-term future, stay tuned. 


T his service opened in June 1994 to great 
fanfare—and then faced serious critical 
brickbats as people discovered Apple’s 
great Mac-only interface didn’t connect to a 
lot of content. Apple’s newly upgraded 
eWorld software is slated to include 
Windows support before the year’s out, but 
the company still hasn’t figured out how to 
make it easy to sign up. Unless you buy a 
new Mac and get it pre-installed, you have to 

The eWorld village Is friendly, but still fairly unpopulated. 

eWorld, but nothing you can’t find in more 

mail away for eWorld con¬ 
nection software. Thus, with 
80,000 subscribers, eWorld 
remains a bit player in the 
online world. 

For those who do venture 
into Apple’s nest, the experi¬ 
ence resembles hooking up to 
AOL. Once in, the interface is 
easy to understand and navi¬ 
gate; you start at the “town 
square” and move to various 
areas by clicking on the appro¬ 
priate buildings or folders in 
the animated townscape. 

Unfortunately, ease of use isn’t always 
enough. Entertainment buffs will find a 
sparse collection of offerings. The game area 
offers a few developer forums and some mul¬ 
tiplayer games, but you won’t find even the 
biggest PC shareware hits like Doom and 
Descent. Music fans fare better; they can 
peruse a fairly active library of offerings from 
more than 20 record companies, including 
Atlantic and Rykodisc. Similarly, there are 
movie- and television-based zones on 

depth on other services. And Apple only 
added Internet access last July, well after all 
the other major services. In short, Apple has 
plans for eWorld, but it still has some catch¬ 
ing up to do. *2; 

„ GETTING ON: * * 


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I he blockbuster 1986 movie Top Cun had Maverick role-a "loose-cannon" pilot with a severe 
something for just about everyone: fast-paced disrespect for authority-at the stick of an 
aerial action, drama, romance, cool tunes, and F-14 Tomcat. You start out at the Fighter Weapons 
hot actors, including Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and School to compete for the Top Cun trophy, and then 
Kelly McGillis. Now, almost 10 years later. Spectrum get swept up in a series of 40 combat missions in 
HoloByte hopes to revive the movie's Cuba, Korea, and Libya. Your goal is to cool off 
legacy with Top Gun: Fire at Will, a PC these hot spots with some hotter flying and, ulti- 
flight sim designed for mass appeal. mately, to survive. 

The game's storyline picks up more than midway Fire at Will features a combination of new and 
through the movie, with you playing Tom Cruise's original movie footage along with high-resolution 

Climb into Ups cockpit of this r 
unique new mass-market flight-sim ^ - 
that brings Ihe Hollywood touch 
to the unfriendly skies. 

i W 

3-D graphics and a fresh soundtrack. Automated 
radar operation and wingman orders make the 
game a breeze to get into for novice PC pilots. At 
the same time, Spectrum hopes Fire at Will's 
realistic flight model will appeal to experienced 
flight-sim fanatics. 

True to its Hollywood roots, the game features a 
cast of more than 20 characters, including actor 
James Tolkan, who reprises his role as Hondo, 
Maverick's cigar-chomping commanding officer. The 

well-shot video cut scenes and some 4,000 lines of 
dialogue propel the plot and capture the feel of the 
original Top Cun movie. However, the movie ele¬ 
ments are not interactive; you are only a witness to 
the onscreen action. 

Fire at Will should be on store shelves by the time 
you read this. If you don't want to crash and burn, 
strap yourself into the cockpit for our exclusive 
Guided Tour mission briefing. (Spectrum HoloByte; 
800-695-4263; DOS CD, not yet priced) 





.- ££ 1 fljj 

. i . -. : . 

> * 

ip^s* i 

ll' ^ 

T 3 

- ■' 

%r \ 

A V %- 



f»h V. - -. V 




•f*' ><aV ^ * 1 your face, but you 

Thank God it’s only a game. 

Ultimately, Dwango wants to connect all its 
local servers into a single worldwide network, 
allowing players to test their skills against other 
competitors around the globe. 

Don’t own the game that you want to play? 
You can easily download a copy from Dwango’s 
site on the World Wide Web ( 
dwango/welcome.html) or BBS (713-467-9272) 
along with the Dwango client software you’ll need 
to log into the service. If you already own the 
latest version of the games, you’re ready to roll; 
just direct your computer to dial up Dwango’s 
local access numben After a $20 one-time 
entrance fee, you buy play time—$20 for 10 
hours or $35 for 20 hours—for games in your local area. 
If you want to play a Deathmatch with someone across 
the country, you need to connect to a separate server and 
pay $10 an hour So you can try before you buy, Dwango 
makes the first 30 minutes of play and the chat room 
free. (Dwango; 713-467-0405; PC, upfront $20 fee, $20/ 
10 hours or $35/20 hours) 

Dwango isn’t the only multiplayer game in town. (For 
more on gaming networks, see “Surfing In Focus,” page 
50. ) GEnie has inked a deal with Interplay to develop 
two titles for GEnie’s multiplayer game service, including 
an enhanced version of Descent that includes new game 
variations, such as capture-the-flag, a pair of new hover- 
crafts, and a new level available each week. GEnie has 
also closed an exclusive deal with MicroProse for a multi¬ 
player version of Magic: The Gathering. Multiplayer 
mavens should look for both on GEnie this month. 
(GEnie; 800-638-9636; PC/Mac, $8.95 a month, $3 per 
hour with $2 surcharge between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.) 

—Bill Meyer 

et ready for Dwango, a new gaming network com¬ 
ing soon to a city near you. Dwango (Dial-up Wide Area 
Network Gaming Operation) promises to deliver the 
fastest, most up-to-date multiplayer games across the 
nation, 24 hours a day. Currendy, Dwango has estab¬ 
lished a dozen game servers in major metropolitan areas 
of the U.S. and Canada—including New York City, 
Chicago, Dallas, Montreal, and San Francisco—with 
more franchises due to open up every month. 

DWATIGO Ri g ht now, players can join in on four- to eight-play¬ 
er games of Doom, Doom II, Heretic, and Terminal 
Velocity, and the company says its proprietary routing 
technology ensures play that is equal to or faster than 
regular, non-network games. Dwango has not set a min¬ 
imum modem-speed requirement, but your modem will 
have to meet the demands of each game, most likely 
9,600 bps or fasten To ensure that you are not slowed 
down by another player with a slower modem and com¬ 
puter, players will match up with opponents with simi¬ 
lar hardware in the service’s chat room. 

Scouting Report 

Game News You Can Use 

Virgin’s Orbital Studios is hard at work on an 
exciting strategy and space simulation 
game called for DOS CD- 

ROM, due by the end of the year. The game 
features strong graphics, two different ter¬ 
rain engines, and the ability to graduate from 
wingman to fleet commander in an intrigu¬ 
ing conflict between several alien races. 

The long-awaited add-on disk to U.S. Navy 
Fighters, is available now 

from Electronic Arts with a new 35-mission 
campaign involving a conflict between the 
U.S., Japan, and Russia. As a Marine aboard 
the carrier U.S.S. Wasp, players have a 
choice of three new Vertical Short Take-off 
and Landing (VSTOL) planes including the 

the U.S. Marine AV-8B Harrier II. 

Trekkers should watch for Viacom New 

Explore the world of Deep 
Space Nine, as a Tirrion delegate in the 
Gamma Quadrant It’s due out in the fall. 

Virgin Interactive’s Alien Alliance mixes 
simulation with strategy. 

Mac users, rejoice! LucasArts is releasing 
and the 

for the Macintosh in September. 
PC users, meanwhile, can look for the 


the original game, the Defender of the 
Empire add-on disk, and 22 new missions. 

Fist-fighting fans should watch for 47 
Tek’s in November for 

DOS CD-ROM. Meanwhile, Mirage Tech¬ 
nologies, makers of Rise Of The Robots, 
will ship for the 

PlayStation, Saturn, 3DO, PC, and Mac in 
the fall. 

Epic MegaGames has released a modem/ 
network upgrade disk for its robotic arcade 
fighting game Also in 

the works is the space-age action shooter 
and scheduled for 

fall on DOS CD-ROM. 

To compete with the Saturn and PlayStation, 
and have reduced the 

price of their 3DO Multiplayers to $299. 


I saw her future when 

I read the box. 

There I was, in this computer store, 
coming to an exciting realization. 

The multimedia kit in my hands 
was far more than the latest 
and greatest computer technology. 

This was a learning rocket. 

Video, animation and sound that will 
take my daughter on a NASA trip to 
Jupiter, let her experience the power 
of Kennedy's inauguration speech, 
and teach her about interest rates and 
the Dow Jones. My head was spinning, 
thinking what all this could lead to. 

A ceremony I'd give the world to see. 
What kind of people design this stuff? 

Reveal's multimedia kits (and over 100 other exciting 
Reveal upgrades) are available at most major computer 
retailers. To learn more about us, visit our Web site at 



© 1995 Reveal Computer ProdudsJnc^Al^rights reserved. 


reduce the level of detail to keep things moving quickly. 

FX Fighter stumbles a bit only when it comes to response 
time. PCs have never been known for lightning-fast joystick- 
response times, and that lag shows here. The characters 
run, jump, spin, kick, and punch realistically in response 
to your keyboard or joystick commands, but getting them 

gonal PC fighting games. 

Although FX Fighter still doesn’t scale the heights 
of the top arcade and CD-console slugfests, its 
graphics and action beat the stuffing out of most 
other computer offerings. If you’ve got the horsepower you 
won’t be disappointed by this mauler 

Distributed by GTE Interactive, FX Fighter is the first com¬ 
puter game to use Argonaut Software’s Brender 3-D technol¬ 
ogy, which allows faster smoother action on the PC. The 
result is realistic character movements as the tough guys (and 
gals) work through more than 40 standard and special 
attacks each. Like any good 3-D fighting game, the camera 
perspective smoothly flows in and out to follow the action. 

Also like any good fighting game, this one has a 
story, which is spelled out nicely in a small full-color 
comic book that serves as the game manual. Seems 
an interstellar maniac named Rygil has arrived in 
his mobile planet and is challenging all comers to 
hand-to-hand combat. If the contestant wins, Rygil 
will hand over all of his planet-busting power. If the 
challenger loses.. .well, let’s just say that he won’t 
have to worry about going home—even in a body 
bag—because home won’t be there any more. 

Players choose their character from eight different 
races, each with varying strengths, weaknesses, and special 
moves. The feline Ferans are cat-quick, for example, while 
the tougher, slower Magmen can take an amaz¬ 
ing amount of punishment. Once you choose, 
you must fight your way through all the other 
contestants until you face Rygil himself. Beat 
him, and the galaxy is yours. 

Once you begin play, FX Fighter sounds great 
and looks even better A high-energy, CD-quali- 
ty soundtrack plays right off the disc as you kick 
and punch your way through the game. The 
grunts, thumps, and shouts of the characters add 
an extra level of entertainment. 

Visually, on a powerful Pentium-based PC, the 
texture-mapped—if somewhat blocky—poly¬ 
gonal characters and sharp, colorful back¬ 
grounds make this PC game look as good as 
some Saturn and PlayStation titles. Players with 
slower machines can turn off the shading and 

Sheba’s kicking up her heels, — , , r , . , 

and Venam’s going down. fP" dealer ° f death and 

destruction takes tons of 
practice and a little luck. Of course, you can always use the 
keyboard, but who wants to play a fighting game with a key¬ 
board? If things seem too tough, you can adjust the comput¬ 
er’s skill level anywhere from wimpy to unstoppable. 

Once you get used to FX Fighter’s generally impressive 
game play, you will notice the occasional quirk. Sometimes 
you’ll get credit for hits even though the characters appear to 
be too far away from each other to have connected. And while 
FX Fighter is certainly well executed, there’s really nothing 
new here. You still fight in a ring, and if you’re knocked out¬ 
side its boundaries, you hear the familiar call of “Ring out!” 
while your opponent chalks up another win. Lose the match, 
and your opponent taunts you—verbally, and with emotion. 

FX Fighter may not replace the hottest stand-up arcade 
games—or even match up to fighters on Saturn, 
PlayStation, and 3DO—but it’s by far the best 3-D fighting 
game to find its way to the PC. Just think, your fancy 
$2,000 computer can now almost keep up with a $400 

VALUE: * * * * 


with Edison" 

3 challenging games 
including—Mystery at the 
Museums", Wild Science 
Arcade” and Rock and 
Bach Studio”—that teach 
music, science and logic. 

Wild Board 

The fun way to learn 5 
popular board games 
including Chess, Checkers, 
Reversi, Snakes and 
Ladders and Puzzles. 
Windows and Macintosh 

Based on the popular children's book by Alan Rogers, Blue 
Tortoise is a fun-filled interactive storybook featuring 
colorful pages and an electronic coloring book. Designed for 
your preschooler, ages 3 to 6, this charming CD-ROM 
recounts the story of the Tortoise’s race to the picnic. It offers 
fun and learning all wrapped up in a glorious, classic tale. 
This engaging multimedia title will offer your child endless 

Wild Cards 

play 7 popular card 
games including Crazy 
Eights, Hearts, Fish, Old 
Maid, War, Twenty-one 
and Klondike. 

Windows and Macintosh 

Nikolai's Trains 

An animated storybook 
journey across the 
landscape of a child's 
imagination. It makes 
learning to read an 

Windows and Macintosh 

hours of fun, learning and creativity. 


^■^fter discovering 
his identity and foiling 
an alien plot to take over 
the Earth in Delphine’s 
hit action/strategy game 
Flashback, Conrad B. 

Hart was feeling pretty damn good about himself. Like 
any good action hero, he’d kicked butt—and plenty of it. 
However, unlike many heroes, Conrad didn’t get the girl and live 
happily ever after 

Instead, Conrad finds himself out of the frying pan and 
into the fire. Fade To Black, an action/ 
adventure due to hit store shelves this 
fall, picks up where the original left off 
in terms of both plot and technology. 
The new game begins as Conrad enters 
cryogenic sleep for the long journey 
back to Earth. However, the Morphs— 
an evil alien race that possess the ability 
to change into any form—intercept 
face to face with Conrad’s spaceship and imprison him in 
a massive Lunar detention complex. 

■ Escaping his cell is a snap—with the 
aid of a small contingent of human rebels 
bent on overthrowing the aliens. From 
then on, however; players once again 
assume the role of Conrad—clad in his 
familiar brown leather jacket and blue 
jeans—as he joins the rebels in an effort to 
uncover the Morphs’ secret and destroy 
the sinister race once and for all. 
id nimble feet are , 0n , the front, Fade To 

, SSi Black bursts the two-dimensional, side¬ 

scrolling perspective of its predecessor to 
emerge into a massive 3-D environment seen from multiple 
camera angles. The result is a surprisingly effective blend of 
Doom and Ecstatica. 

However, unlike Ecstatica, Fade To Black won’t have you 
banging into walls every time the camera angle changes. Fade 
To Black’s fly-on-the-wall perspective works, thanks to a 
myriad of user-selectable viewing angles. For example, if 
you’re continually banging into walls using the default view 
from directly behind Conrad, you can switch to a side or 
front view at the touch of a key. 

This system really shines during gunfights. You aim 

Conrad’s blaster from an over-the-shoulder per- 
rear feet s P ect ' ve as crouches and fires away—unlike, 
say, Alone in the Dark, in which the ever-chang¬ 
ing angles make shooting anything a matter of 
blind luck as much as skill. 

The variety of views also gives you a better look at the 
game’s outstanding images. Fade To Black features three dif¬ 
ferent types of 3-D graphics: static, texture-mapped back¬ 
grounds for such objects as walls, boxes, and barrels; dyna¬ 
mic 3-D interactive objects, including computer terminals 
and cabinets; and a variety of mobile Morphs and robots to 
blow away You’ll also see some cool background effects, 
including water leaking down corridor walls and “living” 
textures that add a psychedelic feel. 

Fade To Black comprises six large levels, each with sev¬ 
eral sublevels. Every one has a task for Conrad to complete, 
which may require completion of a series of smaller mis¬ 
sions. An electronic inventory keeps track of the various 
items Conrad can pick up along the way, including special 
bullets and grenades. 

High-resolution, cinematic cut scenes tie Fade To Black’s 
levels together. These imaginative cinematics also portray the 
multitude of ways Conrad can die. They’re so good that 
you’ll find yourself triggering traps just to see what happens. 
A unique but easy-to-understand options screen lets you 
replay any of the cut scenes you’ve already seen. 

Not surprisingly, all these goodies require plenty of juice. 
Break out the Pentium if you want the highest level of detail 
and performance. If you’ve got a 486, you’ll find three detail 
settings to suit your requirements. 

You may have to practice for a little while to get used to 
the game’s changing perspectives and 3-D world, but it’s 
worth the effort. Our pre-release version of Fade To Black gave 
every indication 


Fade To Black 

By Steve Klett 


you win all of its resources as well as a chance to recruit its 
Champions. But be warned: If you are killed or captured in 
battle, it’s game over. 

Celtic Tales is turn-based, with each turn representing a 
month’s passage. You have 70 years to unite the land and 
defeat Balor. Fail, and the tribes of Eire remain slaves to the 
powers of the Dark for all eternity. Seventy years may sound 
like plenty of time, but having to attend to every little detail 
from constructing weapons to tending 
your cattle makes it pass quickly. 

Unfortunately, the game’s sound— 
or lack thereof—can make it seem 
like time is standing still. There are no 
sword clashes in battle or background 
sounds such as birds singing or cattle 
mooing. Sound effects are limited 
to cheesy background music and a 
beeping sound reminiscent of a stuck 
keyboard as characters move around 

I he land of Eire lays in waste, and the dreaded Balor and 
his Fomor army rule its downtrodden citizens with an iron 
fist. Thus begins your tum-of-the-first-millennium stay in 
Celtic Tales: Balor of the Evil Eye. 

This strategy/simulation game from KOEI casts you as i 

There’s no arcade action to pass the 
time, either To fight, you move your 
characters and choose an action, such as attack or defend, and 
then sit back and watch the outcome. 

To help things along, your Druid and Bard Champions can 
cast various magic spells with the aid of wooden and stone 
runes. Wooden runes break after one use in battle, however so 
to be successful you must search the far comers of Eire for 
powerful stone runes, which you can use over and over 
You’ll also want to practice your spell casting before the 

final battle with Balog as the only way to discover most of the 

of eight fictional characters ruling a small tribe of Celts. Your spells is through experimenting with different rune combina- 

task? Unite the land’s 18 tribes, become High Ruler of Eire, 
and, finally, take on Balor himself. 

Don’t despair—you won’t fight alone. You’ll have the error is more cost-effective. 

For a price, you can occasionally convince traveling 
Bards to share a few of their spell-casting secrets, but trial and 

Cultivate your tribe’s 

If you can deal with the annoying soundtrack, Celtic Tales: 
Balor of the Evil Eye mixes a compelling storyline with a chal¬ 
lenging blend of strategy, simulation, and role-playing. And 
after all, you don’t want to leave the tribes of Eire suffering in 

skills of various Champions at your beck and call. Put them 
to work on everything from farming to cattle rustling. 

Fortunately, ordering Champions around requires just a 
few simple mouse clicks. 

Winning the game will require a lot of slavery for all eternity, do you? 
those simple clicks, however 
To build up enough strength to 
attack Balog you must first win 
the trnst and support of neigh¬ 
boring tribes. You do that by 
giving tribute in the form of 
grain, wood, catde, or metals. 

Of course, you have to accu¬ 
mulate these materials first 
through the sweat of your 
Champions’ brows. Once on 
friendly terms with your neighbors, send a trade 
caravan to the province and try to recruit other 
Champions to join your cause. 

Being a nice guy doesn’t always work, though. 

And if a province won’t bend to your will through 
bribery, you’ll have to try the more direct 
approach: wan Defeat a province in battle, and 


Mortal Kombat®, Street 
Fighter and Primal 
Rage;' but nothing 
matches the spectacular 
game play and visual 
power of Battle Beast," 
the ultimate fight game 
from 7th Level. 

L3 E /V 13 O 1M 

Battle Beast sets the standard for game play and realism on the PC. 

There's nothing like it. Guaranteed! Or your money back * 

• Master more than 100 fight moves • Discover hidden bonus rooms and secret weapons 
• Marvel at feature-film quality audio and animation • Fire rude interactive keyboard taunts at your 
opponent • Outwit the computer's artificial intelligence • Battle it out over network or modem 
Question: What are Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Primal Rage? Answer: Redundant! 
Welcome to the 7th Level. 

Game Over! 

Visit your retailer for a free demo or download the Battle Beast Promo on aol (keyword: seventh) or CompuServe 
(CO: SEVENTH) or on the Web ( For more information or to order, call 1-800-884-8863 ext. 109. 

7th LEVEL, 

*30 day money back guarantee. ( 

version makes a good game great. 

I he radio finally crackled to life: “Hornet 
One, you are cleared for take-off.” Revving 
the engines to 75%, I released the brake, and 
the bird leapt onto the runway. I punched in 
full afterburners, and was doing 225 mph before I hit the 
halfway mark. Pulling up into a screaming left turn, I leveled other improvements 

at just as a flock of MiGs blipped K'ntd my radar 
I dove for the deck as my Sidewinders sped toward the 
bandits. The bomber, my primary target, was just coming 
into range. A smile crossed my bps as I prepared for the kill. 
But the rat-a-tat-tat of impending doom wiped the grin from 
my face. I looked back and saw a smoking MiG-21 pouring 
tracers into my bird. 

“Engine Left, Engine...” said the voice, but she never got 
the last word out as my Hornet exploded across the lush 
green landscape of North Korea. 

_ Sound like fun? It is. And it’s also perhaps 

the most anticipated game release in 
Macintosh flight sim history: Version 2.0 of 
Graphic Simulations’ F/A-18 Hornet and the 
new Korean Crisis mission add-on. The new 
Hornet comes as a “fat binary,” so if you’ve 
got PowerPC horses under your hood, you’ll 
get an extra dose of graphics detail and 
speed. If you’re running a pre-PowerPC sys¬ 
tem, Hornet will still have all the new fea¬ 
tures, such as voice messages and 
enhanced instrumentation, as well as much of the, 
improved scenery detail (outside views of the air¬ 
craft even show a pilot in the plane). 

F/A-18 Hornet 2.0 and the Korean Crisis add¬ 
on seem to have been on the verge of release for¬ 
ever According to the developed the delays kept 
coming as the programmers sought to add ever¬ 
more features. What was just going to be a minor 
update of the sim with PowerPC compatibility 
turned into a whole new version. 

The new Hornet contains great modifications 
as well as some entirely new features to enhance 
the experience. If you can devote 6MB of RAM 
to the game, you can access the new voice com¬ 
munications, which not only add to the realism 
but actually provide some helpful information. If 
you hear the Landing Signal Officer of the carrier 
yelling “Boltei; Bolter!”, you had best hit those 
afterburners PDQ, or you’re going to take a bath. 

the result of actu¬ 
al jet jockey sugges¬ 
tions, including fast¬ 
er acceleration and jet exhausts that glow cobalt blue. 

Once you’re done with the 28 Kuwaiti-theater missions— 
the same ones found in the original Hornet—the Korean 
Crisis adds another 28 sorties, such as taking out an enemy 
dam (the resulting flood is stupendous). If you already have 
the original F/A-18 Hornet, don’t bother buying the full edi¬ 
tion of 2.0. Instead, you can just buy Korean Crisis to auto¬ 
matically upgrade. 

It all adds up to some serious excitement. As I was coming 
in for a carrier landing in the early evening dusk, the dying sun 
sparkled over Inchon Harbot The carrier’s landing lights 
stood out in bright contrast to the dark waters. The wheels 
yelped as I hit the deck and I was yanked to a stop in an impos¬ 
sibly short space. As I raised my hands in triumph, an invol¬ 
untary shout of glee escaped 



or flight sim fans, nirvana is screaming along 50 jnst 
feet above the treetops with your GAU-8/A Gatling spit¬ 
ting dozens of 30mm depleted-uranium armor-piercing shells 
per second into a column of heavy tanks. For Macintosh 
flight-sim addicts, nirvana has finally arrived with A-10 
Attack! from Parsoft. 

This full-bodied flight sim doesn’t limit you to just torching 
tanks with your GAU-8/A. Feel like pointing that behemoth of 
a gun at a ship? A plane? A building? Go ahead. You have 
total control of the Gatling and a bevy of bombs, not to men¬ 
tion a wide variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. 

Don’t worry, though, this isn’t a shoot-’em-up disguised as 
a flight sim. In A-10 Attack!, the aircraft fly with unparalleled 
realism and authenticity. Your A-10A Thunderbolt close-sup¬ 
port aircraft (affectionately known as the Warthog) can—and 
will—stall, spin, feel the weight of wing loading depending on 
the armament you’ve selected, and react realistically to wind 
conditions. Ever try landing a heavily laden aircraft in a 20- 
knot crosswind? Here’s your chance. 

Parsoft’s “advanced physics model” lets your A-10 inter¬ 
act convincingly with other 
solid objects in its virtual 
world. Land on the top of a 
hill and taxi down, then 
watch the suspension give 
when you bank on a turn 
and bounce when you 
brake. Nudge the wing of 
another A-10 while flying, 
and you get to see the other 
plane move accordingly. 
While you’re at it, eye the 
great details such as moving 
flaps, ailerons, and rudder; 
steerable nose gear; and 
active undercarriage arma¬ 
ment. The gear even bends 
and breaks if you abuse it 

The details carry through 
to dozens of active controls 
in the cockpit. Use the mouse 
to rotate knobs, push but¬ 
tons, flick switches, and pull 
handles—operating every- 

uments In A-10's cockpit. 

thing from weapons 
systems to fire extin¬ 
guishers. The huge array 
of working dials and 
buttons may seem over¬ 
whelming at first, but 
they add to the experi¬ 
ence once you get used 
to them. The tactical 

If all this sounds sim- map uses 

ilar to another great chlts 10 let 

Mac flight sim, F/A-18 y f“™ n * r 1 ° l 

* ’ all friendly 

Hornet 2.0 (see review, a|rcra(t 

page 66), there’s more 
to it. In A-10 Attack!, Parsoft introduces 
the Virtual Battlefield Environment 
(VBE). The VBE lets you make all the 
decisions for all aircraft in the game’s 
eight built-in ground-attack scenarios-set 
in a rebellion-tom Germany. 

A tactical map lets you oversee the 
entire mission theater All combatants are 
represented on-screen by colored “chits” 
that identify vehicle type and country of origin. From the map 
you can create waypoints, determine weapons loading, and 
specify tasks to execute at any altitude, speed, and time for all 
friendly aircraft. Then you can jump out 
to the batdefield and watch what hap¬ 
pens until the cavalry arrive from above. 

Once the planes show up, jump into the 
cockpit and give ’em hell. 

Not only that, the VBE also acts as a 
series of plug-ins that will, in future ver¬ 
sions, give you the option to take control 
of other tools of destruction, such as 
tanks, choppers, warships, and possibly 
even soldiers with portable SAMs. 

Parsoft also plans to add new missions 
to the relatively small number of scenar¬ 
ios and make them available for pur¬ 
chase by the holidays. Oh, did I mention 
that networking support is due—free to 
registered users—by this fall? 




"By John Sauer 

■^^Pometimes you hope a certain 
game will be full of things to love, 
but instead you find nothing but 
disappointment. Such is the case 
with First Encounters, a UK import 
from Gametek. 

Set as a sequel to its 1993 award-winning Frontier: Elite II, 
First Encounters carries high expectations. But mediocre 

encounter at spaceports. 

autopilot locks you on to a selected port. 

graphics, an awkward 
control interface, annoy¬ 
ing sound, and a 140-page 
manual as mystifying as 
some science fiction novels 
all put this one in the mid- 

GAMEPLflY: * * * 


die of the pack. and experienced notice- 

First Encounters starts able slowdowns at times. 

off with a good premise. Such performance prob- 

As the commander of a lems certainly don’t help a 
one-man starcraft. vou below-Dar aame. 

f. As is the way with 
economic/space sims, 
you make some credits, 
upgrade your ship, get into 
trouble, have some fun, 
fight bigger and better bat¬ 
tles, and encounter aliens 
somewhere down the line. 
Unlike some other sims, 
First Encounters is open- 
ended, so there is no winning objective. It’s like life: Go 
wild and see where it leads you. 

The game is heavy with options and features. You can 
upgrade your weapons and ship as you make your for¬ 
tune. Each colony you trade in has its own government 
and economy (the police in Lexington port are always 
open to bribery, for example), and possibly even wars. 
Such complexity does call for a big manual, although the 
one for this game could certainly be better designed. 
Gametek also includes a collection of quite good short 
stories that take place in the First Encounters universe 
and provide some clues about how to proceed. 

Sad to say, the whole package just doesn’t fly. The graph¬ 
ics are pixelated and worse than most 16-bit console games, 
and PC gamers deserve better The music, while sometimes 
cool, can get very plinky. Sound effects are similar: For 
example, the “battle alert” is so annoying that it won’t be 
long before the whole neighborhood is asking you to turn it 
down. Fortunately, the game options let you do just that. 

When it comes to game controls, in-station functions are 
fairly simple and accessible via mouse-clickable icons. The 
autopilot can help keep things under control while you fly, 
but when you go manual, steering the ship and locating ene¬ 
mies in combat becomes a wrist-numbing experience. 

The game also can be computer-numbing. We ran the tide on 
two different Pentium 75s _ 

are the only way 
to fight.. Stay 
away from II- 

begin by trading goods 
between colonies, with 
ample opportunities to 
build your fortune by 
dealing in legal—and 
illegal—substances. You 
also run missions for pri¬ 
vate citizens and join the 

While First Encoun¬ 
ters does have good core 
game play, you’ll have to 
endure poor features to 
discover it. In a world 
that desperately needs 
“A” titles, this one rates 

id you to riches in the Great 


or decades, the A-IV Group has enjoyed unparalleled 
growth. But now, their C.E.O. has disappeared... and 
the candidates to succeed him. 

■ you are among 

To assess your executive potential, the A-IV Group has 
devised a hyper-realistic economic simulation. You will be 
challenged to buy and sell assets; build and manage trans¬ 
portation infrastructures; allocate resources among more 
than 100 subsidiaries; and above all, maximize the profit¬ 
ability of your simulation. 

Via your modem or phone you can compete with other 
L executive candidates to take over as C.E.O. So, 
manage your empire wisely — At A-IV, success 
equals succession. 



irry Brenesal 

_costly modem wars are 

fought on battlefields, but in corpo- 
: boardrooms. Understand this and 
you’ll realize why the 21st century con- 
impressions' latest simulation, 

PowerHouse, concern economic and ... . 

All the news you c 

strategic battles between megacorpora¬ 
tions vying for the dwindling energy resources of the world. 

You enter the game as the CEO of one such organization, 
competing against three other conglomerates. Your short¬ 
term PowdrHouse goal is easy enough to define, yet difficult 
to achieve: Find more efficient ways to produce electricity 
from nine different energy sources, including oil, nucleag 
and geothermal. 

To accomplish these objectives, you must survey United 
Nations-designated energy sites and cut deals with different 
governments based on survey-team findings. Then it’s on to 
structures, monitoring energy production, trans¬ 
porting electricity, and researching better technologies. 

Oh, about those govern¬ 
ments: They’re not always 
friendly, and even accommodat¬ 
ing regimes are not necessarily 
stable. Local leaders may have a 
penchant for nationalizing in¬ 
dustries, a euphemism for sim¬ 
ply grabbing control of your 
facilities. Other rulers may sim¬ 
ply renegotiate your contract 
without warning. And even 
friendly officials may 
frown on slipshod 
environmental re- 
rds ittfavor of cleaner, safer competitors, 
i Your long-term goal, of course, is to monop- 
the world’s energy supplies. There are 
’legitimate” ways to achieve this, and in 
’owerHouse, as in the real world, there are dis- 
p honorable methods as well. For example, you 
ft can sabotage an opponent’s production site, steal 
technologies, bribe territorial officials, falsify sur- 
I vey reports, and slander your competition. Such 
p tactics may succeed, or you may end up at the 
receiving end of the nastiness. In the worst-case 
scenario, the UN will castigate you in public, 

; causing various world governments to spurn 
” your subsequent bids. 

Visually, PowerFIouse is a charmer This Windows-based 
Super VGA game bears some resemblance to the isometric 
perspective of SimCity 2000, complete with distinctive icons, 
cascading menus, plenty of optional overlays, and easy-to- 
analyze reports. The high-quality photographs, music, and 
speech are well-chosen to suit the game, though the full- 
motion video is (as with so many games) noninteractive fluff 
that adds no atmosphere and just gets in the way. PowerHouse 
defaults to a standard Earth map, but you can generate ran¬ 
dom continents if you’d rather try something new. 

Given the complexity of the game (with more than a 
dozen different icons to click), a few online aids would have 
really helped. For example, it’s hard to remember the func¬ 
tion of all the icons, so a status bar displaying each one’s 
effect as you scroll across it would make the game easier to 
play. And Windows games have no excuse for not imple¬ 
menting Windows-based context-sensitive help. 

Once you figure out what’s happening, though, 
PowerHouse demolishes Impressions Software’s reputation 
for realistic simulation engines that simply don’t bother to 
hide the dry spreadsheet at their core. Visually masterful 
and filled with cutthroat competition, this game offers con¬ 
tinuously exciting play. 


tie use on the subject. And when I spoke with one of the 
game’s producers, he concluded an incomprehensible 
description of elevator scheduling by advising me to leave 
the default settings alone. 

Surprisingly for a Maxis product, the game glosses over 
important details: The map window doesn’t scale, the finance 
window lops off the last three zeros of some financial data, 
you can’t adjust the level of difficulty, and you can’t invoke 
the disasters that help make SimCity so much fun. Instead, 
you just have to wait for them. 

Nor does SimTower work all that well as a creative toy. It 
seduces you to follow a single path of “bigger is better” Most 
players will end up building a huge monolith so they can get 
a 5-“Tower” rating. And the game’s ultimate payoff, the 
placement of a cathedral, is an annoying bit of religiosity. 

The game’s graphics are also problematic. They’re stunning 
to look at, but cause the game to run maddeningly slowly— 
even on a Pentium. Also, unlike Maxis’s 
other Sim games, which give you plenty 
of information on improving your situa¬ 
tion, SimTower offers weak feedback that 
tells you almost nothing about how to 
solve problems. 

When the last bit of concrete is poured 
and the last tenant moves in, SimTower 
has replicated little of the majesty of the 
soaring structures it claims to model. 


Iwlaxis, publisher of SimTower and all the other “Sim” 
titles, prides itself on producing more than computer games. 
Instead, the company claims it creates “software toys.” The 
difference? A toy allows for creativity and free play. At the 
same time, though, such “toys” don’t always deliver the kind 
of goal-oriented action that gamers expect. But if the run¬ 
away success of SimCity and other Maxis simulations are any 
indication, software toys are here to stay. 

The company’s latest offering is SimTower, which 
attempts to simulate the complex world of skyscraper build¬ 
ing and management. According to the manual, “You are 
the owner and the general manager of your building, which 
you create from nothing, shaping and sculpting it by adding 
offices here, coffee shops there, until it’s a teeming edifice of 
commerce and intrigue.” 

Hmm. Sounds intriguing. And at first glance, SimTower’s 
game play seems quite intricate. You work feverishly to bal¬ 
ing demands: mak¬ 
ing your high rise 
grow and avoiding 
the deleterious ef¬ 
fects of growth on 
the tower’s envi¬ 

The simulation 
seems deep, too. It 
tracks the stress 
and're!^taurants* 5 ^ eye ' tower residents, the efficiency of 

calls up an infor- elevators—even the number of cus- 

mation window. tomers your restaurants and movie the¬ 
aters attract on a particular day. 

But after playing SimTower for a while, you realize 
there’s less here than meets the eye, mostly as a result of an 
unbalanced design. Too many factors hinge on how well 
your tower’s transportation system works, making the 
game play more like SimElevator than SimSkyscraper. 
This imbalance is obvious from the moment you read 
game designer Yoot Saito’s introductory note in the man¬ 
ual, which concentrates on his fascination with elevators, 
ignoring all other aspects of the game. 

Worse, the Maxis folks seem unable to adequately 
explain proper elevator management. The manual is of lit- 


even me most mna-mannered, intelligent would-be shark to a 
blue-chalk covered lunatic. I mean, it just looks so easy. 

We all know the rules, and they taught us the physics in 
elementary school. So why is it so hard to put those evil lit¬ 
tle balls into the holes? 

Well, practice does make perfect, but most of us can’t turn 
the den into a pool hall. Interplay to the rescue: Say hello to 
Virtual Pool, the best litde pool game to ever hit a PC. 

Virtual Pool is a 
combination high-tech 
pool simulator and 
tutor, complete with 
video segments on 
everything from basic 
shot techniques to 
multiball trick shots. 
There’s even a video 
tutorial on the controls 
used to play Virtual 
Pool, making the 
game’s manual almost 

Before you get 
into the game itself, 
it’s worthwhile—and 
quite entertaining— 
to work through the various tutorials. As an added 
bonus, the Pool Techniques and Trick Shots sections are 
hosted by former world champion “Machine 
Gun” Lou Butera. (The section on masse shots 
is particularly impressive.) 

Once you start to play, you have a variety of 
options. Decide on Straight Pool, 8-ball, 9-ball, 
rotation, then choose from single- or multi¬ 
player games (played on one computer, via 
modem, or on a network). Play against 
several computer opponents of varying 
skill levels, from rank amateur to cold¬ 
blooded shark. You can also go through 
a practice session or, if you’re feeling your 
oats, set up some trick shots. 

Play is amazingly simple, considering the 
amount of control you get. You make 
shots with combinations of mouse movements 
and key presses. Press the A key and move the 

Virtual Pool’s tutorials give you the basics In a nutshell. 

mouse to aim your cue. Want some English on the ball? 
Press the E key and move the mouse to position the tip of 
your cue. It’s just as easy to raise and lower the butt of 
your cue (for masse shots) or change your perspective on 
the table. You can even turn on the tracking option to see 
exactly where all the balls will go after you hit them. 
Want even more help? Hit Alt-K and the computer will 
line up your best shot. 

All this wouldn’t mean much if the game didn’t look good, 
but it does. Super VGA graphics provide crisp, 3-D balls that 
move just like the real thing. Even the sounds will remind you 
of your last trip to the neighborhood pool hall. 

But before you throw in your chalk, know that Virtual 
Pool is good, but it’s not perfect. For starters, the Joplin- 
esque piano soundtrack wears thin pretty quickly, and 
you can’t turn it off without also silencing the wonderful 
ball and cue sounds. Interplay also should have included 
some video controls, so you could stop, fast-forward, or 
rewind to watch some of the more interesting tips and 
trick shots in more detail. Finally, a playable, preset list of 
trick shots, such as those demonstrated by Mr. Butera, 
would have further increased the enjoyment level of 
Virtual Pool. 

Still, don’t get me wrong. Virtual Pool is a great example 
of what a game simulation can be. If you like to rack ’em up, 
you have to give Virtual Pool a go. 


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from the ’94 season, and previews of the ’95-'9G season. 
•Complete 1995-96 team and player profiles, photos and stats. 
•Updates every week via our FRE* On-Line Service. 

•The NFL Record Book, with individual and team records. 

•The NR Trivia Game to test your gridiron IQ. 

•Grder Official NR Merchandise on-line and get 10% off! 

Cafls are not ton-tree 

•A 30-chapter "movie" on the history of the league, with rare 
footage of the greatest players, coaches and teams, and the 
all-time best bloopers. 

•Profiles of each Hall-of-Famer with photos and career stats. 
•Insights into the strategic innovations that changed the game. 
•The NR recordbook, rate the best players ever. |ir _ 
•Comprehensive team histories. KpFhfll 



Modus Operandi 

Y ou’ve earned a well-deserved vacation, but that doesn’t mean life halts 
while you watch the swaying palm trees on the island of Morada. Not at all— 
for the resort is waiting with countless mysteries to be solved. 

Morada is the setting for Modus Operandi, a real-time multiplayer game 
developed by Simutronics and available through the GEnie online service. 
No, you won’t be killing other players or dying in combat with computer¬ 
generated secret agents. Modus Operandi may be all about crime, but it’s 
an adventure game, heavy on competition, cooperation, and deduction. 

Every player receives monthly wages, but the extra cash from 

Great game? Yes! 

+ * * + + 

reward comes in very handy. It allows you to 
vital-equipment: binoculars, lock-picking kits, even psychic energy 
readers. What you can use depends in large part on the career choice and skills you initially 
select There are eight professions in all, each with certain benefits. An academician can per¬ 
form detailed library research, while coroners prefer forensic investigations and have unlim¬ 
ited access to laboratory facilities. 

A mix of careers and skills is necessary to solve the more advanced mysteries in Modus 
Operandi. That’s where cooperation comes in. Rewards are split by a successful team, and 
everybody gains status. 

Visually speaking, Modus Operandi is a special case-a text adventure. Interacting with 
the interface is accomplished by typing full sentences or keywords. You won’t encounter any 
figure-out-the-appropriate-word puzzles, however. The text isn’t a barrier, but an outline. 
Simutronics’ programmers understand that the best-told story draws your own imagination 
into the creative process. 

As a result, expect to spend long hours in the company of your sleuthful peers, solving 
the endless mysteries of Modus Operandi. -Barry Brenesal 

Marco Polo 

Marco Polo isn’t quite sure whether it wants to be a game 
or a historical documentary. I-Motion’s CD-ROM uneasily 
mixes a turn-based strategy game with an exhaustive multi- 
media history lesson about the great explorer Marco Polo. 

The multiplayer game puts you in the role of a 14th-cen¬ 
tury crusader who embarks upon the Silk Route to make his 
fortune. You can follow Marco Polo’s exact path from city to 
city while buying and selling goods—and getting involved in 
political intrigue and undertaking covert missions. 

But game play itself is not so exciting: You simply move 
from a city’s introductory screen to town-center and camp 
screens, and buy 
and sell goods by 
clicking on draw¬ 
ings representing 
each item. You 
don’t move within 
a simulated envi¬ 
ronment, nor do 
you meet any 
other characters. 
Buy and sell goods to make your fortune Your only interac- 
in the game portion of Marco Polo. tions come in the 

form of video “en¬ 
counters.” The clips— 
sometimes featuring 
Leonard Nimoy and 
Burt Lancaster from 
last year’s Marco Polo 
movie—introduce you 
to townspeople who 
provide insight about 

Aside from the vi¬ 
deo clips, the rest of 
the graphics are unspectacular Static, history book-style 
drawings make up the game-play screens. The sound track is 
somewhat better, featuring a variety of period music. 

Marco Polo’s historical content is accessible by clicking on 
the Documentation menu item. Watch a narrated slide show 
of video and photographs or read through screen after screen 
of text chronicling the life of Marco Polo and the history of 
the Mongols. That’s all fine, but it would have been nice if 
I-Motion had linked pertinent information here to the game 
play screens. 

Like the explorer’s journey, Marco Polo the game is an 
ambitious idea. Unlike Marco’s actual travels, though, this trip 
is nothing special. —Christine Grech 



Zig Zag 

Legend has it that mythic Polynesian king Hawaii Loa created a challenging 
test of strength and intelligence for pretenders to his throne. The trial included 
a trek across sacred grounds, a perilous outrigger voyage, and a treacherous 
dive in a shark-infested grotto. But the real challenge was a “deduction word 
game,” designed to test the sagacity of royal wannabes. Now Quantum Quality 
Productions has brought this legendary game to the mainland as Zig Zag. 

Zig Zag is a word game in the true sense of the, well, word. Don’t look for 
fancy graphics in the six word “quests.” In fact, the graphics are simplistic even 
by word-game standards. 

To win, you must discover a secret word by carefully entering test words in 
crossword puzzle-like spaces. After 

entering each test word, you deduce which letters are also in the secret word by seeing 
if you score any points. This is where the “zig” and “zag” come in. To gamer a zag and 
250 points, a letter in your test word must also be in the secret word. For a zig worth 
1,000 points, a matching letter must also have the same placement in the two words. 
For example, if the secret word is B-E-A-T and you type B-E in a two letter word space, 
you earn 2,000 smackers. It isn’t easy. As you progress to higher difficulty levels, the 
secret words become things like “Cays,” “baboos,” and “acetyls.” 

If it all sounds a little complicated, it is. But once you get the hang of things, Zig Zag 
is both challenging and fun. To help you out, the manual is easy to understand, and the 
disc includes three full-length game examples. If you’re completely baffled, the hint fea¬ 
ture can give you the word letter by letter Of course, it also eliminates your chance to 
reign on the high-score list. 

Wordsmiths and others who enjoyed the verbal portion of the SATs should love Zig Zag. 
It may not include a lot of bells and whistles, but it’ll keep you guessing. —Bill Meyer 


Zig Zag 

American Laser Games 

Developer: Quantum Quality 

Platform: Mac/Win CD 
Requires: System 6.0.8, 
2.5MB RAM 

Street Price: $49.95 

GAME PLAY: + ■¥ + ■¥ 

VALUE: * * + 


Words-not fancy graphics-make the game 
in Zig Zag. 




Dark Forces/Doom II For the Mac 

As good a game as Marathon is, it hasn’t quite assuaged 
Macintosh owners’ PC envy as they cast longing eyes on first- 
person, three-dimensional shooting games like Doom II and 
Dark Forces. Well, pine away no longer; Mac fans: These high- 
octane megahits are now available for you. 

In case you’ve been living in a cave, Doom II: Hell on Earth 
pits players against hordes of demons spawned in the darkest 
pits of Hell. The Star Ware-based Dark Forces has a tamer but 
more complex plot: You are a mercenary hired by the 
Rebellion to expose and destroy the 
Empire’s newest secret weapon, the 
Dark Troopers. Ether way, you run 
around various levels of mazes, blast¬ 
ing away at everything that moves. 

While the Mac versions of each 
game mimic their PC predecessors in 
nearly every way, there are a few subtle 
graphical differences. For instance, the 
images of ships shown during Dark 
Forces’ mission-loading screens become 
razor-sharp on the Mac. And gamers 
lucky enough to own a Power Mac can 
view all the Dark Forces action in high- 
resolution graphics. Similarly, Doom II 
on the Mac makes it a bit easier to dis¬ 
cern enemies from long distances. 

Developer: id Software/ 

Lion Entertainment 
Platform: Mac CD 
Requires: 68040 or PowerPC, 
System 7.1, 8MB RAM 

GAME PLAY: -* » -* -» 

Of course, the 
slightly sweeter eye 
candy would leave a 
bitter aftertaste if per¬ 
formance wasn’t up to 
snuff. Fortunately, in 
both cases it is. While 
Dark Forces runs no¬ 
ticeably smoother in 
full-screen mode on 
a 486DX2/66, perfor¬ 
mance on a Mac Quad¬ 
ra 630 is more than 
acceptable. And Doom 
IPs performance on the 
Mac matches the PC version shot for shot. As an added bonus, 
Doom II supports network play among Macs and PCs. 

In the nit-picking category, moving to the Mac messed up 
the default keyboard controls on both games. For example, the 
D key fires weapons in Doom II on the Mac, whereas the easi- 
er-to-reach Ctrl key acts as the trigger on a PC. Each game gives 
players the option to custom-configure key settings, but because 
some Mac keys are restricted to certain functions, it’s difficult 
to precisely recreate the PC control sets. 

Nevertheless, it’s time for the Mac users to cock the chain 
gun and air out the blaster. The new versions of these instant 
classics will make Doomheads and Dark-Forcers out of the 
rest of us. —Steve Klett 

Terminal Velocity 

D oes Descent leave you feeling claustrophobic? Do typical flight sims have you 
wishing for something simpler? Maybe it’s time to hit Terminal Velocity. 

In “TV"-as the first game from 3D Realms, a new division of PC 
action-meister Apogee, is affectionately known-you play a pilot in a 
distant future fighting impossible odds, trying to save...oh, enough 
of that already. Once you enter the cockpit, things couldn’t be sim¬ 
pler-just fly and shoot. A navigational arrow in the center of your 
radar screen tells you where to find your next target, while the 
screen itself shows the enemies around you. 

As you fly, you can take out a variety of air- and ground-based tar¬ 
gets. Destroying certain enemies yields valuable power- 

u fly, you can take out a variety of air- and ground-based tar- 

gets. Destroying certain enemies yields valuable power- A winner in every way, Terminal 
ups, such as shield restoratives and afterburners. And if Velocity is shareware that stands oi 
you miss that closed-in feeling, just dive into a tunnel. The 

moving walls and myriad enemies should keep even Descentophiles more than happy. 

The game’s a looker, too. If you’ve got a Pentium, turn on all the details and the action will still 
fly smoothly by. It isn’t Super VGA, but it sure looks great Got 12MB of RAM? Then load up the 
registered version's high-res bitmaps for even more detail. The explosions are especially inspired, 
both visually and audibly. 

But in action games like this, fun is the object, and Terminal Velocity is a barrel of that stuff. 
You can even hook up with other players across a network or modem to add that human touch. 
Once you give the shareware version a spin, just try not to immediately order the full commercial 
version. Even Microsoft is getting into the act; it will release a Windows 3.1/95 game called Fury 3 
based on the same engine this fall. 

But why wait? Terminal Velocity is here now. -Christopher Lindquist 

Feeling homesick for 
Descent? Terminal 
Velocity gives you tun¬ 
nels to play in, too. 




Computerized versions of hex-map war games have long 
been a staple on the PC. Now startup Frontal Assaultware 
brings some of the fun to Mac-based strategy gamers. 

Onslaught contains all the elements of a good strategy 
game: 17 troop types, including infantry, armor, and air¬ 
planes; a dozen different terrains; numerous orders for your 
troops to follow; even nukes, if you feel like leveling the 
board to an uninhabitable pile of radioactive waste. 

To play, you choose the starting conditions, such as percent¬ 
age of terrain types, land mass size, number of neutral countries, 
and the strength of 
the local economy. 
You can’t set “skill 
levels” for your 
computer oppo¬ 
nent, but begin¬ 
ners can delay the 
enemy’s deploy¬ 
ment or reduce the 
size of its war 
chest if the action 
proves too fierce. 
After setting up 

the options, Onslaught gener¬ 
ates a random game map for 
you to fight over, and the 
action begins. Create your for¬ 
ces with the point-and-click 
Build Palette, then place them 
on the colorful map. Check 
unit status and assign orders 
with easy-to-use pop-up men¬ 
us and the Info Palette. Once 
fighting begins, use the 


* * * 

Combat Report window to track your successes and failures. 

But while Onslaught is certainly a slick little war game, it 
still has a ways to go to reach the level of the best PC strat¬ 
egy titles, such as Panzer General from Strategic Simu¬ 
lations or The Perfect General II from QQP. Unit movement 
consists mostly of watching unit tokens dance around the 
screen to the repetitive strains of machine-gun fire and 
bomb blasts. Onslaught could also use more variety in the 
number and types of troops. 

At least Frontal Assaultware seems aware that 
Onslaught is only a first attempt. The designer’s notes 
even ask players to suggest improvements. One thing's 
for sure: Onslaught gives the company a solid base from 
which to work. -Christopher Lindquist 



There’s only one Hyperman™ (Thank heaven!) on CD-ROM, and only you 
can help him save the world. You’ll solve puzzles, outwit an evil alien, 
and maybe even learn some science along the way. Cool. Check out 
Hyperman on the Internet at To order, visit your 
local retailer or call 1800 426-7235 (source code 5201). 



The Big Game, the Big 
Fight, and...Alex Trebek? 

By Peter Olafson 

^^ome on back to the 
ballpark, folks. Greatest! 

Nine, the first Saturn base¬ 
ball game, is a windshield¬ 
breaking homer, with a raft 
of great features, beguiling 
ease of use, and an authentic 
feel that even the best com¬ 
puter games are hard-pressed 

The game has an engaging 
eye for detail—whether it’s 
the range of apoplectic 
announcers, the precision 
with which it calculates the 
length of home runs, or the 
way outfielders look over 
their shoulders and lean into the stands 
when chasing flies. 

That said, you will probably want to 
wait for the U.S. issue, World Series 
Baseball, in time for the holidays. The 
original is based on real-life Japanese 
baseball, with its own players, 
announcers, and smaller stadiums. If 
you’re not careful, you may find your¬ 
self getting thrown out at first on an 
erstwhile single to right. (Sega of 
America; 800-872-7342; street price 
$70 to $90 for import version, U.S ver¬ 
sion, $59.99) 

Platform: Saturn 
Rating: * * + * 

Electronic Arts has done right by 
Space Hulk in bringing it to the 3DO. 
The new version celebrates the origi¬ 
nal’s inner action game. This ground-up 
rewrite of the computer version sends 
your multicharacter parties free- 
scrolling through darkened derelict 
spaceships in search of nightmarish 
monsters and the odd artifact. The 
3DO disc does a better job of linking 
the action and strategy elements, so that 

each now seems an extension of the 
other The result is like multiplayer 
Doom without the network. And while 
the weird religiosity of the computer 
versions has thankfully been excised, 
the Genestealers, bless ’em, are more 
horrifying than ever Wear a smock. 
(Electronic Arts; 800-2454525; $59.95) 

Platform: 3D0 
Rating: * * * * 

Worldwide Soccer for the Saturn 
squats happily a step or two down the 
ladder from EA’s FIFA International 
Soccer for 3DO. It’s missing something 
intangible at a visceral level—perhaps 
just FIFA’s irrepressible high spirits. But 
it remains competitive, flexible, and fea¬ 
ture-filled. (Sega of America; 800-872- 
7342; $49.99) 

Platform: Saturn 
Rating: * * * * 

The key to the new generation of poly¬ 
gonal 3-D fighting games is realistic 
action—not the trauma-unit gore of 
Mortal Kombat. In this respect, each of 

the Big Three consoles seems be missing 
a little something. For instance, Tekken 
is utterly gorgeous and wonderfully 
fluid, but it’s sometimes less like fighting 
and more like coming to terms with a 
“boss” gimmick. (Namco; 408-922- 
0712; $70 to.$90 for import version) 

Platform: PlayStation 
Rating: * * * 4 

Meanwhile, Toh Shin Den uses model¬ 
ed characters and permits lateral move¬ 
ment-meaning you can sidestep an 
attack—but replaces the human touch 
with magic and swords. Consequently, 
you never feel entirely involved. 
(Takara; 212-689-1212; $70 to $90 for 
import version) 

Platform: PlayStation 
Rating: * * * 

By contrast, Virtua Fighter looks a bit 
crude—the large polygons give it a sort 
of Rock ’em $ock ’em Robots feel—but 
it’s a real fighting game. It never tries to 
be anything else, and the game play 
mirrors the coin-op almost perfectly. 


Tekken takes a stand for fighting games. 

(Sega of America; 800-872-7342; free 
with purchase of Saturn) 

Platform: Saturn 
Rating: 4» + •¥ + 

In the next six months, you’ll probably 
see around a dozen games in the style of 
Gran Chaser— a texture-mapped rac¬ 
ing game from Syd Mead, tbe creator of 
CyberRace. It’s not a bad start: The 
graphics are pretty, the frame rate ade¬ 
quate, the courses rigorous, and steer¬ 
ing sensitive enough to keep you alert. 
But for all that, the game lacks person¬ 
ality. You see the other cars, but there’s 
no sense of having anyone else racing 
with you. (Sega; 800-872-7342; street 
price $70-90 for import version) 

Platform: Saturn 
Rating: M M + 

Syndicate for 3DO is an uncharacter¬ 
istically straightforward port of Bull¬ 
frog’s justly celebrated action/strategy 
computer game. You conduct teams of 
as many as four agents on missions 
through isometric cityscapes. You then 
need to manage captured territories to 
extract the most cash without inciting 
rebellion. Howeveg Syndicate 3DO has 
not been improved so much as adjusted 
to work with a joypad. No indoor view 
is provided, and movement within 
buildings remains a strange game of 
blind man’s bluff. (Electronic Arts; 800- 
2454525; $59.95) 

Platform: 3D0 
Rating: * * * 

field forested with colored pyramids. The 
blue shatter at a touch, the red are 
destroyed by your gun (but contact is 
deadly), and the green can be demolished 
only by luring predatory yellow pyramids 
into them. Purple ones turn into pits 
when shot, and it .goes on from there. A 
breeze to learn, a joy to play, and truly 
wicked in the higher levels. (Panasonic 
Software; 408-653-1898; $49.95) 

Platform: 3D0 
Rating + * + ¥ 

In Interplay’s upgraded platformer 
Earthworm Jim: Special Edition, you 
control a worm incarnated, by turns, 
either as a muscleman or as—well, bait. 
This game’s play sensibility is delightfully 
off-center The game keeps you in motion 
and manages to avoid repeating itself: 
The levels are full of surprises, not to 
mention infuriatingly out-of-reach side 
roads. (Interplay; 800-969-4263; 

Platform: Sega CD 
Rating: -*< + + 4 

Surgical Strike for Sega CD is a full- 
motion-video shoot-’em-up with a little 
less twitch in its pitch. It offers a measure 
of user control (you direct your hover¬ 
craft through a range of labyrinths), 
apocalyptic explosions, and a certain 
strategic element. But if you’ve seen a 
dozen apocalyptic explosions, you’ve 
seen ’em all, and monotony sets in after 
a while. (Sega; 800-872-7342; $59.99) 

Platform: Sega CD and 32X CD 
Rating: * + 

Surgical Strike, but to much more cre¬ 
ative effect. Here, you’re a fire depart¬ 
ment rescue specialist sent into three 
elaborate hot zones: suburban house, 
apartment building, and university. 
You’ll deal with red-hot herrings (an 
empty gas can) and interesting side 
issues (finding the kerosene heater and 
saving the cat), and you’ll have to make 
occasional strategic decisions—such as 
deciding which handle turns off the gas. 
(Sega; 800-872-7342; $59.99) 

Platform: Sega CD and 32X CD 
Rating: M ■¥ + + 

It’s been a long time coming, but we 
finally have a good platformer for 
CD-i. Merlin’s Apprentice is a gor¬ 
geous bouncer whose childish charac¬ 
ters seem oddly matched to the 
undraped women who sometimes 
adorn the backdrops. (Philips; 800- 
340-7888; $49.98) 

Platform: CD-i 
Rating: + * M ■* 

Most game-show-based games come off 
flat for the want of personality. Not 
Jeopardy. It’s got Alex himself, a classy 
veneeg and an overall feel close to the real 
thing—especially when playing with a 
bunch of people. The only thing missing is 
the grease pencils and the host’s grim 
attempts to ask the contestants about their 
jobs. (Philips, 800-340-7888; $39.98) 

Platform: CD-I with Digital Video 

Simplicity: Ya gotta love it. In Ice- . 

breaker, you’re trying to clear a play Fahrenheit 

engine similar to Rating: ■¥ + ■¥ 4 


Plain TV? Play TV! 

By Christopher Lindquist 

S o you finally got that big-screen TV you 
always wanted. And it’s attached to a 
gut-pumping sound system that makes the 
soundtrack to Pulp Fiction turn your head 
inside-out All you have to do is sink into the 
couch and relax. Awesome, ain't it? 

costing $250 or more. 

On the surface, it may be hard to tell the var¬ 
ious scan converters apart They all come with 
everything you need to hook up your PC to a TV 
set with S-Video (the best-looking choice) or 
Composite (RCA jack) connectors. (If your TV 
supports only the RF inputs, those threaded 
connectors to which you attach your cable-TV 

cable, you'll need to buy an RCA-to-RF modula¬ 
tor at the local electronics store.) The scan con¬ 
verters also come with all the cables you need 
to hook up both your VGA monitor and TV set 
to the PC at the same time. That way, if your 
converter supports it, you can see what you're 
in both screens. External scan 
ers also include an AC-adapter 
to power the unit 

Most scan converters also 
include utilities to move and 
resize the image you see on 
the television. VGA monitors 
®TV,sets don't use exactly 
same rtHiolution, so some 
computer images may geliro 
on the TV screen. These utilities let you 
tion the image to keep important information, 
such as menu bars, where you can see it 
The more expensive converters may also 
incorporate flicker-reduction techniques. This 
can save some strain on your eyes if you play 
for extended periods of time. But be warned 
that even the best scan converter won’t make 
your TV set’s image look as good as the one on 
your monitor. DOS and Windows text may be 
especially hard to read, though some converter 
makers supply software to help m 

help make thjn^ 

* • * 

lal word of advice: Buy your scan 

One final 

a store with a good return 
^policy. Many converters require special 
software drivers that let you display an 
image on the TV, and there's a small 
chance that the software won’t work with 
your PC’s particular video card. 

Now that you know the basics, take a look 
at these four new gaming-oriented converters: 
Advanced Digital Systems’ Game Zapper, 
AITech GamePlayer TV, Antec TVator Pro, and 
SIIG TV Gamer Plus. Buy one and say good¬ 
bye to small-time games forever. 

Game Zapper 

On the low end of the price scale, you'll find the 
Advanced Digital Systems (ADS) Game Zapper. 
This no-frills converter supports only 640-by- 

If you do run Windows, don’t expect much. 
Game Zapper doesn’t include Windows-specific 
drivers, so text can be fuzzy and unreadable. 
Also, unlike most scan converters, the Game 
Zapper doesn't let you watch both the TV and 
the VGA monitor at the same time. Instead, you 
have to toggle between modes. So if an impor¬ 
tant piece of text is unreadable on the TV, you 
have to switch to monitor mode in order to get 

Zapper; you’ll 


a clearer view. Unfortunately, Game Zapper 
also warns that switching modes while playing 
a game “may cause problems.” 

The Game Zapper's overall display quality 
isn’t bad, considering the price Screen flicker is 
quite noticeable, however, particularly on slow- 
moving games. 

ADS also makes higher-end converters, 
including the TV Elite, which sells for between 
$199 and $229. But if you want to play comput¬ 
er games on the tube and can’t afford more 
than $50, Game Zapper is the only game in 

town. (Advanced Digital Systems; 800-888- 
5244; street price $50) 

Rating: ■¥ ■¥ M 

GamePlayer TV 

Like other converter makers, AITech offers a 
complete line of models, from the $300 
MultiPro CTV, which includes such niceties as 
hardware controls for screen size and center¬ 
ing, down to the $109 GamePlayer TV. 

The GamePlayer TV is a standard PC 

expansion card that fits in an open ISA bus 
slot That may turn off people who don’t like 
crawling around under the hood of their com¬ 
puters. But its design lets the GamePlayer TV 
draw power directly from your PC-no need to 
worry about AC adapters or finding 
another power outlet 

While the GamePlayer TV 
costs more (more than 
three times as much) than 
the Game Zapper, it offers 
such added features as 
flicker reduction, support 
for 16.7 million colors, Win¬ 
dows drivers, and utilities to 
adjust the size and positiSh of 
DOS and Winders sfcreens. The 
GamePlayer #also lets you play games on your 
TV and VGA monitor simultaneously. Even bet- 
0, if you plan to play games only, you don't have 
to load any potentially troublesome drivers at all. 
Just plug in the card, attach it to your VGA card's 
output port, and play away. 

Under DOS, the GamePlayer TV offers better 
picture quality than the Game Zapper, and it out¬ 
performed all the competition under Windows. 
Even Program Manager group names were 
clearly legible. You can reduce DOS screen flick¬ 
er by hitting a hot-key combination, but that also 
seems to degrade text and graphics quality a bit 
All in all, the GamePlayer TV isn’t a bad deal for 
gamers looking to hit the big screen. (AITech; 
800-882-8184; PC; street price $109) 

Rating: ■¥■¥■¥ 

TVator Pro 

Ifgou like Macs as well as PCs, take 
‘ )k ® ArfUc’sgJVator Pro. This scan 
nverter supports 6otl#C and Mac 

converter supports 1 
modes and comes with all the 
essary connectors and software dri¬ 
vers for both platforms. 

Like the GamePlayer TV, The TVator 
Pro can display up to 16.7 million colors, 
also includes utilities to both resize and adjust 
the brightness of the screen. Plus, the TVator 
Pro includes a flicker-reduction filter to help 
reduce screen flicker. Like the GamePlayer TV, 
you can also view both your TV screen and your 
VGA monitor at the same time. However, unlike 
the GamePlayer TV, you can’t turn the flicker 
reduction on and off. 

In terms of picture quality, the TVator Pro 
easily matches the GamePlayer TV and tops 

the Game Zapper, especially under Windows. 
Images, particularly static ones, look clearer, 
with less flicker. However, there’s nothing too 
static about trying to escape from an exploding 
mine in Descent, so you may not notice much 
difference during an intense game. 

However, TVator Pro requires a device 
driver to let you see the picture on the 
TV, and-under Windows-that dri¬ 
ver is incompatible with some 
modes of a few graphics cards, 
including some Diamond Speed 
Star cards. Still, Mac users espe¬ 
cially should keep the TVator Pro 
in mind. (Antec; 510-770-1200; 
PC/Mac; street price $149-$199) 
Rating: + ♦ ♦ 

TV Gamer Plus 

SIIG's TV Gamer Plus topped the list for the 
external models that we looked at. It boasts 
good flicker-reduction technology, crisp 
Windows support for 16.7 million colors, and an 
outstanding 5-year warranty (the others offer 
only one-year deals). 

Like the other external converters, the TV 
Gamer Plus connects your PC to both the TV 
and VGA monitor. It also lets you view both the 
monitor and set at the same time while playing. 
And like the TVator Pro, you must load a special 
device driver to see a picture on your TV 
screen. The driver should work with the vast 
majority of cards on the market but be warned 
that you could run into a 
problem. The unit's picture 
quality is also on par 
with the other high¬ 
er-price units, with 
quite clear DOS 
text and usable 
Windows text 
TV Gamer Plus 
also comes with soft- 
utilities for changing 
DOS fonts to make text more 
readable, turning flicker reduction on and off, 
and moving and resizing the screen. As an 
added bonus, SIIG throws in a CD-ROM con¬ 
taining hundreds of shareware and freeware 
games. Mac users can pick up a version of the 
TV Gamer for their machines for just $10 more. 
(SIIG; 510-657-8688; PC, street price: $169.99; 
Mac, street price: $179.99) ^ 

Rating: ■¥■¥■¥■¥ V& 


By Donald St. John 

Untangling the 
World Wide We! 

erhaps no recent technological devel¬ 
opment seems as totally magical as 
the World Wide Web. Consider: You can open 
your browser and go to a Web page that’s 
located on a computer in California, for exam¬ 
ple, click on a link within that page, and be 
(almost) instantly whisked off to another page 
that may be on a computer in Australia, 
halfway around the world. 

Of course, it's not quite that simple. What 
makes the Web so easy to use is the same 
quality that lets you make a telephone call with¬ 
out thinking about it-the transparency of the 
technology. But just as that phone call has to 
be routed through computers, switches, and a 
mammoth set of wires that you never see, the 
Web also works in the background, enabling 
you to get to where you want to go next How 
does it all happen? 

Blame it on the Internet 

It all starts with the ingenious design of the 
Internet that collection of computers and net¬ 
works interconnected across the planet. No 
matter what programs you’re using to access 
the Internet-and World Wide Web browsers are 
just one type of the many that flow along the 
Internet’s pathways-the open structure and 
software of the 'Net pretty much ensure that 
what you send and receive gets to where its 
supposed to go. 

In part, that’s because the Internet is the ulti¬ 
mate example of the success of client/server 
technology, a term you often hear associated 
with large corporate networks. Simply put, a 
client-a stand-alone computer running soft¬ 
ware that either requests or transmits informa¬ 
tion-finds a server, a computer that contains 
the information or acts as a routing agent to 


other servers that do. 
accomplish this task, all 
servers have to speak the 
languages. The two languages that —- 
are a basic prerequisite to any Web 
transaction are Unix, the operating system on 
which the Internet was built by the U.S. military 
in the 1960s, and Hyper Text Markup Language 
(HTML), the scripting language in which most 
Web documents are written. Both were devised 
with one primary thought in mind: openness. 
Because neither has ever been dependent on 
working with proprietary hardware or software, 
such as Apple's Macintosh operating system or 
Microsoft’s Windows, any computer can use 
them-which theoretically means that any com¬ 
puter can access the Internet 

Does that mean that you have to run Unix on 
your computer to get on the Web? Not any 
more. If that was the case, the Internet would 
still be the sole province of the scientists and 
engineers who comprised its population 10 
years ago. Since that time, though, a cottage 
industry-and now a commercial one-has 
sprung up in software that does Unix transla¬ 
tions behind the scenes for you. 

Meanwhile, HTML was devised as a lan¬ 
guage that could allow transparent hyperlinking 
to text or graphical objects, while simultane¬ 
ously being pretty simple to write. This ease of 
use lets thousands of college students and 
other regular Joes create their own cool Web 
pages. The beauty of HTML is that you can cre¬ 
ate a link to another Web page and represent it 
as a graphical object; click on the picture, and 
your browser software makes the connection 
and takes you to it 

Just Browsing 

But before you program in HTML, you have to 
get on the Web. To do that, you need an 
Internet provider-a company with computers 

connected to the “backbone" network that was 
established by the military a quarter-century 
ago. At the heart of that backbone are large 
computers, scattered throughout the world 
and primarily located at universities, that act as 
the primary servers for the whole Internet (The 
military designed the system to be able to with¬ 
stand nuclear attack on a particular site, so the 
system doesn’t depend on the operation of any 
single installation.) 

Your provider, whether it's a small stand¬ 
alone Internet services provider (ISP) or one of 
the big commercial online services such as 
CompuServe, AOL, or Prodigy, must under¬ 
stand TCP/IP (Transmission Control Pro¬ 
tocol/Internet Protocol), the agreed-upon way 
for Internet computers to communicate. (For 
more on Internet connection options see “Get 
the ’Net" April 1995, page 40). Your computer 
in turn also needs to understand TCP/IP, so 
you'll need to have TCP/IP software such as 
Winsock for the DOS world or MacTCP for the 
Macintosh, which are generally available as 
freeware (or, in the case of MacTCP, bundled 
into the Mac's System 7.5 operating system). 

If you want to view the Web in its full glory, 
your machine also needs to have either Point- 
to-Point Protocol (PPP) or Serial Line Internet 
Protocol (SLIP) connections, which handle the 
movement of all that multimedia data. 
Fortunately, most PPP and SLIP applications 
exist as freeware or shareware and can be 
found bundled in any of several guides to the 
Internet, such as the Internet Starter Kit by 
Adam C. Engst (Hayden Books, $29.95). If 
you're not up to installing all this software on 


breakthrough in browsers came in 1991 when 
the National Center for Supercomputing 
Applications developed Mosaic, the first good 
graphical browser. More recently, Mosaic 
developer Marc Andreesen co- 
founded Netscape 
and developed the 
IBS. / / Netscape Navigator, 

which is now used 

by roughly 70 percent of all Web surfers. The 
browser, in tandem with a growing number of 
“helper" applications such as sound package 

The Last Protocol 

To finally get on the Web, there’s one more pro¬ 
tocol to deal with-Hyper Text Transfer 
Protocol, or HTTP. Fortunately, browsers are 
developed to read HTTP effortlessly; all you 
ever need to do is to start your request to go to 
a page with the signal “http://", then type in 
the Web address of the page you seek. 
* Your request transmits to your 

Internet services provider’s 
host computers; those seek 
out routing servers that 
can find the page you 
■j Oral need; and the comput- 

er holding the page 
data sends it back. 

your machine, 
the browsers that 
have been developed by 
the commercial online ser¬ 
vices can handle the task for you- 
at the expense of some flexibility on 
your end. (For more on what the commercial 
online services offer, see “Cyberspace: 1995” 
on page 47.) 

Once these programs are installed, you need 
one more crucial piece of sofware: a Web brows¬ 
er. This is software that sits on your machine, 
hooks into your SLIP or PPP connection, and 
translates the text and graphical information that 
comes across your Internet connection. The 


Lefties squeezed, 
modem speeds, 
and standards seized. 

Lefties Left Out 

I regerttfy'looked into buying a new joystick. 
l^msdi^Bjraged to discover that 
LogftSWlnftfl'ngman Extreme does not 
come in a left-handed version. I was won¬ 
dering if they make any of the really good 
joysticks for left-handed people. I've seen 
yokes for both hands, and I have a CH 
Products Flightstick, which works great, 
but I would like something more. 

CH Products’ two-handed Virtual Pilot flight 
yoke (CH Products; 800-624-5804; PC, 
$109.95). If you're looking for ThrustMaster 
compatibility, try out the ThrustMaster XL Action 
Controller. Its four fire buttons and “haf control 
work with all ThrustMaster FCS-compatible 
games, and while it’s not built to handle serious 
| abuse, the $29.95 price sure makes it appeal- 
| ing. (ThrustMaster; 503-639-3200; PC, $29.95) 

| If sports and action games are your forte, defi- 
| nitely scan the shelves for Advanced Gravis' PC 
1 Gamepad. Not only does it have a switch that lets 
| you swap between left- and right-handed modes, 
1 but its four control buttons are finding increasing 

support in such games as EA Sports NBA Live 
'95 and Accolade's Brett Hull Hockey '95. 
(Advanced Gravis; 800-663-8558; PC, $29.95) 

Need for Speed 

I’m looking a new modem to replace 
mybntiqgj&p,400 bps model. Is it really 
worth my while to get one of the V34 28.8- 
Kbps models, or can I save some money 
and just get a cheaper 14.4 Kbps version? 

In financial terms alone, heavy online users 
almost always come out on top by buying a 
faster modem (faster modems usually cost 
around $100 more). Faster downloads and 
speedier Web browsing can mean shorter ses¬ 
sions and smaller phone bills. And that means 
happier spouses and bigger bank accounts. 
Also, while not all online providers now offer 
local 28.8 Kbps lines in all areas, most will be 
upgrading to the faster modems pretty quickly. 

More importantly, a faster modem makes 
going online more fun. Once you see just how 
much faster things arrive to your PC, you may 

actually enjoy the experience so much more 
that you spend more time online than ever 
before: playing online games, browsing the 
World Wide Web, and downloading files. But 
trust me, it’s a worthwhile risk. 

There is one other consideration-phone 
lines. 28.8 Kbps is actually faster than some peo¬ 
ple believed today’s analog lines could handle. 
Those people were proven wrong in the end, but 
even a bit of line noise can quickly reduce your 
speed to 14.4 Kbps or less. If you live in an area 
with traditionally noisy lines, you may never see 
the benefit of that extra performance. 

PC or MPC? 

A punch of the PCs in my local computer 
stone, say they're MPC2-compatible. I found 
out that means they have a double-speed 
fD-ROM drive, 4MB of RAM, plus 
other stuff. Now that we have 

quad-Speed drives and even faster com- 
j / puters, will there be an MPC3 stan- 
. ' dard? 

Mark Chin 
San Francisco, CA 

Yep, there is already such a thing as MPC3. 
It was established this past June by the 
Multimedia PC Working Group, a gaggle of 
computer and software makers who get 
together every so often to try and bring some 
sanity to the multimedia PC market 

For your PC to be MPC3, it has to include at 
least the following: 

1) 75MHz Pentium 

2) Quad-speed CD-ROM drive 

3) Support for MPEG1 and other full-motion 
video standards 

4) 8MB RAM 

5) Wavetable sound 

6) A 540MB hard drive 

So, if you don't match up to these standards, 
you’re out of touch and should go buy whatever 
it takes to catch up. 

Just kidding. 

In reality, the standard doesn’t do much 
except give hardware and software makers a 
baseline to aim for on future machines. The 

Wish I had some good news for you, but 
like many industries, joystick makers pretty 
much overlook lefties. 

The reasons are economic, as usual. The 
molds used to create high-end joysticks, 
such as the Thrustmaster FCS, Advanced 
Gravis Phoenix, or Wingman Extreme, 
are expensive. Creating new molds 
and starting additional manufacturing 
runs just to produce a few left-handed 
joysticks doesn't make financial sense. 

So the lefties of the world have to go 
for an ambidextrous model such as 
your Flightstick or learn to deal with a 
right-handed joystick. (It’s possible, 

Hey, Jimi Hendrix was a southpaw who 
learned to play right-handed guitar-and 
better than anyone before or since.) 

That doesn’t mean you don’t have 
any options. If you're a serious flight- 
sim pilot, you may want to investigate 

Right now I use my modem just for e-mail 
and downloading, a file every St 
often, but I might want to get into 
online gaming /a; 

Tim Oulet 
Portsmouth, Nl 


software makers will have an easier time knowing 
what machines will be on the market if they know 
that the hardware guys are going to start aiming 
for MPC3 over the next few months. But it’s not a 
solid “standard” in the way that, say, PCI is a bus 
standard that everyone needs to follow to the let¬ 
ter in order for their add-on cards to work. It's 
more like a suggestion that the Group hopes will 
make everyone’s life easier. 

The only standards that really count are your own. 
If your PC still runs the games you like to play with 
acceptable performance, don't worry about what 
some gang of vendors will try and sell you next 

286 or Bust 

I’ve got-kgold 286 that’s ready for retire¬ 
ment Should I upgrade this system or buy a 

Roger Mayuveather 
Indianapolis, IN 

Send that 286 to the old computer’s home. While 
you could upgrade it to a 486 or Pentium, you 
probably won't be able to salvage much. The mem¬ 
ory, hard drives, and add-in cards (like graphics 
boards and drive controllers) used in those older 
systems are generally slow by today's standards 
and not worth installing in a newer machine. 
(Unless you have a V.34 modem or some hot new 
sound card in there. Save that for sure.) 

A new machine will have components designed 
to work with the newer high-speed processors. 
You’ll be happier in the long run-believe me 

But don’t just throw that 286 away. Consider 
giving it to a local charity or school. They can 
sometimes use even outdated machines for 
training and educational purposes. You might 
even be able to get a receipt you can take off 
your taxes next April. 

Fax, mail, or e-mail your queries to the 
S.O.S. staff at: 

• Electronic Entertainment 
951 Mariner’s Island Blvd, Suite 700 
San Mateo, CA 94404 

• Fax:415-349-7781 

• CompuServe: 73361,263 

• America Online: ElecEnt 

• Internet: 

Sorry, but we can’t send personal 
responses to every question. 

VS Computeiworid Hong Kong PC WoHd Hong Kong 
Computerworld Southeast Asia, PC World Singapore, 
Computeiworid Malaysia, PCWorid Malaysia; AUSTRALIA'S 

.Xustralian PC.* 

iss Australia, 

ss; AUSTRIA'S Computerwelt 
(ZIL'S Computeiworid, GamePro, 


w . .rid Bulgaria, PC 

iria; CANADA'S Direct *- i-— 

Computerworld Electronika, PC World; DENMARK'S 

yg Macworld Danmark, PC World Danmark, 
' W - . Id; ECUADOR'S PC 

TS Computerworld Middle East, PC World 

3 C World Africa; NORWAY'S Computerworld Norge, 
C/worid, Lotusworid Norge, Macworld Noige, Networid, PC 

...—r-i-- Sj pc world Norge, PC World's Product 

nt Data, Unix World, 

Computerworld-Moscow, Mir-PC; Sety; SLOVENIA'S 
--- **" TH AFRICA'S Computer 

le, Macworld, Su 
STATES' AmigaWorid, Cable in the Classr 
QO, Computeiworid, Desktop Video World, DC 

InfoWorid Direct, Laser Event, Macwor 
Network World, NeXTWORLD, PC 
~ ght. Power PC WoridPublish,, 

ela, VIETNAM'S PC World Vietnam. 

Advertising Sales Offices 

Jim Shepherd, National Advertising Director 
951 Mariner's Island Blvd., Suite 700 
San Mateo, CA 94404 
Tel: (415) 286-2530 Fax: (415) 349-8532 
Susan Crown, Manisha Patel, 

Advertising Services Manager Advertising Coordinator 
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Keyhole Fantasies 
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aAU'J'J A'-B (Counts as 2) 
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Men In Motion 
The Adv. Of Snatchman 
Club Cyberlesque 
Wander Lust 
Sorority House 
Virtual Vegas 

Wicked Photo CD 
Mark of Zara Photo CD 
Cat & Mouse Photo CD (PC) 
Hooter Heaven Photo CD 
Heidi's Girls X Volume 
Double Play 1,2 
Adult Palate 2 
American Girls 1,2 
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Online Classics 

What would the classics of literature have looked like if the great 
writers had used emoticons? (If you need some help identifying 
the works, the words we replaced appear in order at the bottom. 

It was the:-) of times. It was the:-(of times. 
—A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, 1859 

:-) families are all alike, every:-(family is:-(in its own way. 
—Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy, 1876 

What’s in a name? That which we call a — 
By any other name would smell as:-) 

—Romeo And Juliet, William Shakespeare, 1595 

Then from 5K throats and more, there — a lusty :-0; 

It rumbled through the A* *A, it rattled in the dell; 

It knocked upon the A and recoiled upon the_ 

For Casey, mighty Casey, was —> to the bat. 

—Casey at the Bat, A Ballad of the Republic, Ernest Lawrence 
Thayer, 1888 

Raskolnikov suddenly recalled Sonia’s words, 

“Go to the X roads, bow down and the earth, 
for u have sinned against it 2, 

and say aloud to the whole world, '<— am a murderer.’” 

—Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1866 g 

(j ‘oot ‘noi ‘ ssn/ ‘ssojio) \ 8 
(Supuvnpv ‘jvp ‘uintunoui ‘foflv/i ‘ssox ‘000‘S) I I 
(perns‘esox) \ | 
(liddvtfun ‘liddvqun ‘iWvh) \ | 
(jsxom ‘jseq) | 

A Top 10 list of the 
info that might have been 
stored on that memory 
chip planted in 
Johnny’s brain. 

10. Much Ado About 

9. Microsoft BOB 

8 . The real specs for the 
Sony PlayStation and 
Sega Saturn 

7. The active ingredients in 
Flintstones Vitamins 

6 . The script for the 1998 
sitcom pilot DudeWatch 
5. A detailed City of Los 
Angeles bus-repair 

k 4. A list of Mortal Kom- 
bat III cheats 
3. The Screen Actors' 

Guild job-hotline number 
2. Transcripts of the OJ. 





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